After the R&D meeting about kelp in December we asked three of the participants about the future of kelp farming. What are the takeaways, the benefits and challenges of kelp farming and how can we work together to solve these challenges? See the video at the bottom of the article.

– The goal of a R&D meeting is to gather stakeholders for a good dialogue about the issues that are stopping us from actually achieving our goals, Innovation Manager Björgólfur Hávarðsson says.

One of his takeaways form the meeting is the lack of space for farming. Our shores are getting crowded and there are many different stakeholders and interests. If we are to succeed, we need space to succeed, he says.

Sustainable resource

We also talked to Marit Gjerstad, Advisor in Norges Vel, who highlights kelp farming as circular solution.

– It would be perfect for a salmon producer to have a kelp farm nearby that can utilize the emission from salmon production. This way of thinking, having low trophic species together with the fish farm is the regenerative aquaculture of the future, she says.

Kelp is a resource with a lot of possibilities, also as food. Because it contains minerals like iodine, and has a salt taste it can for example replace table salt, Marit explains.

Kjartan Kramer presenting Nutrimar
Kjartan Kramer presents Nutrimar and their work with kelp. Photo: Silje Ringheim

Working together to overcome the barriers

There are some barriers for kelp as a resource. Having enough product and having a marked for it, are some of the issues. In addition to creating a more efficient harvesting, processing, and drying process.

Kjartan Kramer, Business Development Lead at Nutrimar, believes that working together is part of the solution to lowering the energy consumption during dewatering and drying. He also highlights each company’s own ability to find a way into the marked.

– I think each company needs to work on its own to find the market you want to operate in, Kjartan says.

According to Marit, the kelp marked is still in its early stages. This must change if kelp farming is to becoume Norway’s next major industry.

Watch the video here: