The project will contribute significantly to the development of a new aquaculture industry in the north of Norway as well as contributing valuable knowledge and techniques in genetic breeding, biomass processing and industrial application opportunities that will benefit the industry throughout Norway.
It has strong industry support showing the importance of this area of research in Norway.
Currently the Norwegian macroalgae industry is focused solely on the production of sugar kelp. However, little research has been done on the genetic distribution of macroalgae species such as sugar kelp and the potential to utilize selective breeding to improve the value of this or other species has not been explored.
The industry is also almost exclusively based in the southern and middle parts of Norway. This ignores the enormous potential to grow and expand the growing season in Norway by producing macroalgae in the north whch will be a major focus in MacroALGAQUA.
There are also a range of novel and high value macroalgae species that can be grown in landbased IMTA systems on the effluent from high trophic species.
This is a method of production that has not been explored in Norway, despite its success in other European countries and will be investigated in MacroALGAQUA.
The environmental footprint of livestock production is gaining increasing attention from consumers and is currently dominated by the CO2 footprint of the feeds that are used. Macroalgae, though available in large volumes, have limited value as feed ingredients mainly due to their low protein and lipid content as well as the potential presence of undesirable compounds.
Fermentation is recognized as a promising method for upgrading macroalgae biomass nutritional value.
MacroALG AQUA will build on the experience and knowledge gained from previous Nofima macroalgae projects as well as linking to the activities of the Tasty Kelp project to overcome these bottlenecks in the Norwegian macroalgae industry.
MacroALG AQUA will strengthen the macroalage value chain in Norway (particularly the north of Norway) by focusing on the five key areas listed below.
- Development of genomic resources and estimation of genetic parameters for growth and environmental sensitivity of sugar kelp.
- Further development of macroalgae production in the north of Norway.
- Production of novel land-based macroalgae species in IMTA land-based systems.
- Downstream processing and utilization of fermented macroalgae in cattle and fish feeds
- Communicate Nofima’s competence to industry and research partners.