a photo of green seaweed fronds

Seaweed Farming & Training Centre

The EAC’s Kelp Kurious project is helping folks learn about opportunities in the seaweed sector. Through this project, we are supporting small-scale, regenerative seaweed farming and small-scale seaweed product entrepreneurs to help develop community-based economic opportunities and sustainable sources of income. 
 
Why seaweed? Now is the time to rethink our relationship to the ocean and how we produce seafood. Who has access to marine resources? Who benefits? What are the impacts? How can local communities be at the forefront of rebuilding resilient economies? We are excited to demonstrate how seaweed farming can be a small part of a sustainable, diverse and resilient coastal economy.  
 
Are you kelp kurious? Want to get involved? Check out the information below to learn about seaweed farmer training, research opportunities, community education opportunities, and the support our project is providing to small-scale entrepreneurs looking to enter into the seaweed sector.
 

hands hold a blade of kelp aloft so that that dark brown stripe, which contains its spores, is visible

Farmer Training, Seaweed Nursery & Education Centre

Farmer Training, Seaweed Nursery & Education Centre

Do you want to become a seaweed farmer? We can help you learn all you need to know to start growing, tending and harvesting seaweed! Reach out for more information about: 

  • Farmer training 

  • Navigating regulatory requirements for your farm 

  • Science-based, low-impact farming techniques 

  • Our spores-to-spools nursery, which demonstrates low-cost methods including how to set up using a few cuttings of local, wild kelp 

To learn more about farmer training opportunities, get in touch with us at anika.riopel@ecologyaction.ca.

Are you interested in pursuing seaweed related research? Our farm site is also a space for partners to research: 

  • Innovative farming techniques and farm design 

  • Carbon and nutrient capture potential from kelp farming 

  • Marine ecosystem benefits and impacts from kelp farming 

To learn more about research opportunities, get in touch with us at anika.riopel@ecologyaction.ca.

Three persons are at work on a small seaweed farming vessel on the water.
You can also visit our education centre to: 

  • Learn about kelp’s role in our marine ecosystems 

  • Discover the varieties of seaweed naturally found in the waters of Nova Scotia 

  • Explore seaweed and other creatures in our touch tank 

  • Learn about seaweed and shellfish farming 

  • Explore seaweed farming as a form of coastal livelihood 

  • Test out seaweed products 

We are grateful to Peter Darnell, owner of Indian Point Marine Farms and our partner on this project, for hosting the demonstration seaweed farm and education centre in Mahone Bay, NS. Peter’s long-time background in the Slow Food movement and decades as an ocean farmer of mussels and scallops, make his advice and support invaluable to our work. 

Supporting Entrepreneurs & the Market for Seaweed Products

Supporting Entrepreneurs & the Market for Seaweed Products

We are fostering opportunities for micro and small business entrepreneurs to enter into the burgeoning seaweed sector by: 

  • Providing support for entrepreneurs to develop, test and launch seaweed products, including food, health and beauty, fertilizer and bioplastics products   

  • Building a business mentorship network and connecting entrepreneurs with relevant business incubator and accelerator services 

  • Compiling market research and feasibility studies and making them publicly accessible 

  • Identifying new and existing markets for seaweed product entrepreneurs  

  • Exploring a variety of business models to support the development of the seaweed sector in Atlantic Canada 

Are you interested in developing a seaweed product? Are you seeking business support services to enter into the market for seaweed products? To learn more, get in touch at merydie.ross@ecologyaction.ca.

Getting Seaweed Farming Regulations Right-Sized

Getting Seaweed Farming Regulations Right-Sized

Like all human activities in the ocean, seaweed farming can have impacts and risks. However, if pursued at an appropriate scale with the protection of wild seaweed, biodiversity and ecosystem health at the core of operations, it can be an ecologically and economically sustainable source of income for coastal communities.  
 
We will promote rigorous science-based regulations that are: 

  • Seaweed specific 

  • Right-sized for low-risk farming 

  • Navigable for small-scale farmers and small business owners 

Why now? For too long, industrial aquaculture and overfishing has depleted our ocean. As interest in kelp farming booms in North America, the Ecology Action Centre advocates for space in the growing seaweed sector for the small-scale grower and small business opportunities along the value chain.  
 
When done responsibly, seaweed farming can contribute to healthy marine ecosystems and enhance coastal livelihoods by providing a sustainable income for seaweed farmers and small businesses.