Ocean Rainforest’s first seaweed harvest of the year was completed today. Ocean Rainforest has in collaboration with Dutch-Norwegian company Hortimare developed a technique where fertile seaweed leaves can be used to hatch seaweed spores. The cultivation process begins by collecting fertile seaweed leaves from the cultivation site in the fjord of Funningsfjørður, Faroe Islands. Spores are then attached to lines provided by fishing gear supplier Vónin and placed on the purpose-built macroalgae cultivation rig (MACR) system, which Ocean Rainforest has been developing continuously since 2008 and first deployed in 2010.
The seeded lines grow on the MACR system deployed within Bakkafrost’s salmon farming operational area in Funningsfjørður. Each month the crew of Ocean Rainforest’s boat Tongul have taken samples to provide data for Ocean Rainforest’s industrial researcher who in collaboration with the Icelandic research institution Matís has been able to determine the seasonal variation of seaweed growth.
The freshly harvested seaweed will be dried at Faroe Marine Products’ facilities in Leirvík. Once that process is complete, the seaweed will be packaged at Ocean Rainforest’s processing facilities in Kaldbak and shipped to the Netherlands by Faroe Ship where it will be sold for human consumption.
This is a prime example of international cooperation between industry and research institutions, which has resulted in a new valuable and sustainable export commodity. It is part of the MacroValue project funded by Nordic Innovation and Innovation Norway in addition to self-funding by project partners Ocean Rainforest, Hortimare and Matís. Several other Faroese subcontractors provide services to aid the process, including MEST, KJ Hydraulik, Kemilux and Vestpack.