Fremantle Seaweed aquaculture lease approved for 32 hectares.

Fremantle Seaweed applied for an aquaculture lease in Derbal Nara (Cockburn Sound) in August 2021 after completing detailed research into the feasibility of growing 15 local seaweed varieties including the red seaweed Asparagopsis that reduces cattle methane emissions by 90% when used as a cattle feed supplement.

The aquaculture lease is located on the easternmost limit of Success Bank in the Owen Anchorage area of Derbal Nara. The 32 hectare (ha) seaweed farm stretches from Catherine Point in the North to Coogee Marina in the South, 100m offshore from CY O’Connor Beach. This location provides the ideal growing conditions for our various seaweeds with ocean currents and protection from large breaking swells with the Islands and fringing reefs of Derbal Nara (Garden Island, Carnac Island, Mewstone Rock and Straggler Reefs).

Fremantle Seaweed applied for an aquaculture lease and license through the Department of Primary Infrastructure and Regional Development managed (DPIRD) who manage all aquaculture licenses in Western Australia. It is critical to ensure the biosecurity of Western Australia, DPIRD’s aquaculture license application process requires the proponent to develop and implement a Management and Environmental Monitoring Plan.

The aquaculture license application process involves Community and Stakeholder consultation period that allows for Government Departments, Industry Bodies and the Public to provide comments on the proposed lease. Fremantle Seaweed engaged with the local Commercial Fishing Operators (represented by South Seafood Producers) and Sailing Clubs (represented by Yachting WA and Sailing Australia) to ensure the proposed lease will not impact current water use. Additionally, various Government agencies such as Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).

The approval of Fremantle Seaweed’s aquaculture license and 32ha lease allows the company to commence seaweed farming operations to grow up to 15 types of local seaweed varieties for applications including FutureFeed’s methane reducing cattle feed supplement (Asparagopsis armata and Asparagopsis taxiformus), bio-plastics (Gracilaria preissiana), fertiliser (Ecklonia radiata and Solieria robusta), food for human consumption (Porphyria lucasii, Ulva lactuca and Caulerpa lentillifera), food additives (Eucheuma speciosum and Cladosiphon filum), medical (Dumontiaceae Gigartina) and nutraceuticals (Pterocladia lucida and Sargassum spinuligerum).

We acknowledge the Whadjuk peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the waters that Fremantle Seaweed’s aquaculture operations are situated upon. We acknowledge the wisdom of Aboriginal Elders past and present, and pay respect to Aboriginal communities of today. We recognise the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the valuable contribution this diversity brings to our aquaculture operations.