Our Research and Development

Backing our decision making with global scientific research

The Blue Economy CRC

Southern Ocean Carbon is one of 44 partners of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BECRC) which was established in 2019. The industry, government, and research partners from 10 countries bring expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy, and maritime engineering.  The aim of the Blue Economy CRC is to pave the way for innovative, commercially viable and sustainable offshore developments and new capabilities that will see significant increases in renewable energy output, seafood production and jobs that will transform the future of Australia’s traditional blue economy industries.”

Our Research Partners

Southern Ocean Carbon works with research project leader Professor Craig Johnson and seven other partners on developing production systems for offshore kelp mariculture with a project research timeline of 24 months, from November 2022 to October 2024.   During this research period, offshore productions systems for kelp mariculture are being designed and trialled, warm water tolerant kelp genotypes selected, and the performance and potential impact of the kelp production systems assessed. The information gathered will be used to determine the economic viability of kelp mariculture at commercial scales. The project will also assist the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) with new policy development to design a framework that enables contemporary management of seaweed aquaculture in Tasmania.

Seaweed Research Lease

In winter 2023, we deployed the first project infrastructure consisting of three rings and an underwater array with 60m long grow lines in our research zone in Tinderbox, Tasmania. We planted the micro-sporophytes (baby kelp) shortly after. An Offshore Seaweed Aquaculture Workshop was held at the end of November 2023 to recap on the findings from researchers and experts across the field during the first research period and to establish a roadmap to advance seaweed mariculture in Australia. If everything goes according to plan, the next project phase will go ahead with installations of seaweed farm modules further offshore. 

Further Seaweed Projects

We are also working on the hydrodynamic effects of seaweed on two projects. This will strengthen our engineering and technical knowledge of farm design and allow us to optimise designs for various locations, as well as answering some important questions on the ability of seaweed to dampen wave actions, leading to potentially many other great reasons to grow seaweed!