Global experts to put the spotlight on seaweed

Some of the world’s leading seaweed experts will meet in Hobart at the end of October to discuss the future of seaweed habitats, environmental management and market opportunities.

The week-long discussions will culminate on Friday 1 November with a Workshop (9am-5pm, CSIRO Lecture Theatre), displays and a free Public Lecture (6pm-8.30pm, IMAS Salamanca) open to scientists, industry and the public.

IMAS Professor Catriona Hurd said the Seaweed for Life and the Future program brings together a remarkable group of local, national and international experts.

“Tasmania is at the forefront of seaweed research, both as a critical part of our marine environment and as an aid to environmental management,” Professor Hurd said.

Kelp and diver. Photo: Emma Flukes. “Research by IMAS scientists in recent years has revealed how Tasmania’s Giant Kelp forests and East Coast kelp reefs have been devastated by the impacts of ocean warming and the consequent arrival of invasive long-spined sea urchins. (Photo, left: credit Emma Flukes)

“At the same time, local researchers and the aquaculture industry are exploring opportunities to grow seaweed commercially alongside the salmon aquaculture industry, which provides nutrients that are beneficial to seaweed growth.

“Members of the local scientific community, industry and the community are invited to come along and find out about the fascinating research and opportunities presented by seaweed,” she said.

Speakers at the Workshop will include Canadian seaweed aquaculture expert Dr Thierry Chopin and Chilean marine biologist Dr Alejandro Buschmann.

The public lecture will feature IMAS scientists Professor Hurd and Associate Professor Neville Barrett, along with Dr Chopin.

A new exhibition about seaweed by artist Amanda Walker and IMAS researcher Professor Catriona Hurd will also be launched on Friday, at 6.15pm as part of the free evening session at the IMAS waterfront building.

On Monday 4 November one of the visiting seaweed experts, US marine biologist Professor Charles Yarish, will give a free public talk at 10am at the IMAS waterfront building on “Opportunities, challenges and future directions of open-water seaweed aquaculture in the United States”.

Anyone can register to attend the daytime Workshop (cost $20) and the IMAS Public Lecture and displays (free).

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
October 18, 2019