‘Australia is a global hotspot for seaweed biodiversity with a rich Indigenous history dating back 65,000 years. Saltwater people have used seaweed for a variety of purposes including medicines, clothing, food, fishing, shelter, and in ceremony.
The Manly Seaweed Forests Festival blends science, art and food in a celebration of the lush underwater ecosystems that line the Sydney coastline, as well as the entire Great Southern Reef1.’ You can even get involved in their seaweed replanting project called Operation Crayweed where various sites are being transformed back into seaweed sanctuaries. Many renowned people are getting involved to support and amplify the importance of spreading the word on this critical topic including Professor Tim Flannery.
Check out the Manly Seaweed Forests Festival here:
Seaweed is often a forgotten hero in our natural environment and here are some amazing facts you may not know:
•Some seaweeds may prolong life expectancy – such as Mozuku which is the pride of the Okinawa people of Japan, known for having the longest life expectancy in the world
•They are salt-dwelling marine algae with approx. 12,000 different types categorised to date and most are green, brown or red and none are known to be poisonous
•Are found across the globe even the Arctic and Antarctic regions
•They photosynthesize just like land plants and thus oxygenate the oceans which in turn is released into the atmosphere. More than half of the oxygen we breathe comes from the marine photosynthesizers, like phytoplankton and seaweed.
•Essential as habitat for millions of fish and other marine creatures (if not more!)
•Large capacity for carbon capture
•Clean many chemicals from the ocean
•Can be used to create sustainable plastics
•Giant kelp forests are amazing and single ‘strands’ can reach up to 53 meters and can grow up to 61cm per day (faster than bamboo)
•Are used in thousands of products already, many that you would use everyday including yoghurt, some beers and is Increasingly used as a meat alternative in many foods
•Seaweed farming (rather than harvesting naturally from the Oceans) is worth billions internationally and is most prevalent in China, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and Japan and local investment in Australia is ramping up!
Across the globe seaweed awareness and appreciation is increasing with many festivals now celebrating these forests of our oceans. Check out the one in California: