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Macro algae can boost the Nordic marine industry

  • Published 05/01/2017
Promising results from CapMafi, one of the projects in the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme, are boosting the belief in a major Nordic algae industry in the near future.

Fish farming is one of the fastest growing economies in the Nordic region. Prognosis estimates a growth potential 5 – 7 times of today’s level. One of the challenges is the fish feed. The most common ingredients are expensive or are exported from the other side of the world. Fortunately, there is a cheaper and more locally produced alternative. Five Nordic partners from Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands have identified this alternative, the use of macro algae as ingredients in fish feed.

 

The project CapMafi (Conservation and processing marine macro algae for feed ingredients) is aiming to develop methods and technology for preservation and processing of macro algae and turn them into valuable bio-active components and ingredients for fish feed.

 

The wild algae are grown in Norway and on the Faroe Islands, before being preserved by membrane technology and a hydrolysis process.

 

- I think this can lift the Nordic algae industry to a whole new level, says Åsbjørn Karlsen. Karlsen is the owner the company Eukaryo based in Bodø. He owns and runs the project.

 

The partners have experienced some challenges with the hydrolysis, but have high hopes when they repeat the process this spring. - So far the results are promising, the production is very good and stabile, concludes Karlsen.

 

Larger scale
Until now the testing has been conducted in a very small scale. For the product to be suitable for the market and contribute to a new industry, the production will have to be lifted remarkably.

 

Karlsen is positive to this. – Our testing shows that it is possible to implement this to a larger scale, whether it’s about 50 tons or 50,000 tons. Therefore, we would like to establish a hydrolysis factory here in Bodø.

 

Meanwhile Tari, one of the partners in the project wish to create a farming facility for macro algae on the Faroe Islands.

 

The product can not only be used in fish food, but also in cosmetics and dietary supplements.