What Methods Are Used To Increase Seaweed Production


Seaweed production is essential for a variety of sectors, from food production to pharmaceutics and engineering. With an ongoing global population increase pressuring the need for more food production, methods to efficiently cultivate seaweed and other organisms for an ever greater number of uses is essential to making the most of our marine ecosystems. In this article, we will explore some of the methods used to increase seaweed production, and the implications of these methods in the larger picture of ocean sustainability.

Animal-based Seaweed Farming

One of the primary methods of seaweed production is animal-based farming. This is done by using farms such as the ones found in the Philippines, which employ sea cucumbers to facilitate the growth of seaweed. The sea cucumbers produce large amounts of faeces and feed on weeds and organic material, providing the necessary nutrients for the seaweed to thrive. In addition, animal-based farming requires less space than a traditional seaweed farm, meaning that more of the available marine resources can be used for other applications.

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is another method of seaweed production. IMTA is an aquaculture system which combines the cultivation of multiple species, such as seaweed, shellfish, seaweed, finfish and other organisms. This makes use of the various roles that different species can play in an ecosystem, such as nutrient uptake by organisms such as oysters and clams, as well as the production of biodigestors to convert organic materials into nutrients for other species.


Mariculture is a method of seaweed production in which seaweed is grown in open-ocean cages or tanks, and is also known as open-ocean aquaculture. This is done by providing a suitable environment and nutrients for the seaweed, which is then cultivated in either shallow or deep water. Mariculture offers some advantages over traditional seaweed farms, such as allowing the growth of multiple species of seaweed in the same environment, and providing larger yields than traditionally-farmed seaweed.

Bioplastic Production

Seaweed is not just used in traditional food production but also in the development of bioplastics, which are plastics derived from renewable, natural sources. These bioplastics are typically composed of proteins found in seaweed, and can be used as an alternative to traditional plastic. This can be an effective method of increasing seaweed production, as seaweed can be used to cheaply and efficiently produce large amounts of bioplastics without any of the environmental harms associated with traditional plastic production.

Genetically Engineered Seaweeds

Genetic engineering is another method of increasing seaweed production. This is done by introducing genes from other species into the seaweed, such as genes which speed up the growth rate or increase resistance to environmental conditions. This can be a valuable addition to traditional seaweed farming methods, as the genetically engineered seaweeds can be grown in less ideal conditions, and can often achieve a greater yield in a shorter amount of time.


The methods discussed in this article are just a few of the ways in which seaweed production can be increased. Whether it is through animal-based farming, Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture, mariculture, bioplastics production, or genetic engineering, the methods available for seaweed production can be used to provide a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution to the need for increased food production.

Michael Gates

Michael Y. Gates is an ocean biologist and author who specializes in researching and writing about sea sponges. Michael is passionate about protecting the world's oceans and educating others about the importance of conserving our marine resources.

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