Aussies are driving down livestock emissions with seaweed

Red seaweed is claimed to reduce livestock methane emissions by more than 98%

A red seaweed, native to Australian coastal waters, is claimed to reduce livestock methane emissions by more than 98%.

The Tasmania-based agriculture science company Sea Forest is developing a farm cultivating this specific seaweed, named Asparagopsis, which captures carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.

The captured carbon is believed to make up 30% of its biomass.

The firm’s feed supplement contains bioactive compounds which prevent methane production in livestock – that is achieved by prohibiting the enzymatic process which produces methane at the last stage of digestion.

Methane is believed to have a global warming effect 28 times that of carbon dioxide, causing livestock to contribute 16% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the last five years, the company has worked closely with the Australia science agency CSIRO to test and refine its product.

The company has received AUD$1 million (£560,000) from the Morrison Government to scale up production.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said: “The Accelerating Commercialisation grants are all about investing in the growth of great Australian business ideas that will ultimately change our lives for the better.

“Through this latest funding, we’re backing projects that will improve agricultural processes and reduce greenhouse emissions, all while growing a developing industry that will create jobs.”

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