Dairy cows in Tasmania fed seaweed

Edible seaweed has long been a staple in Asian cuisines, but now its target market is shifting to the four-legged consumer.

The CSIRO has previously shown that a small amount of Asparagopsis seaweed added to a cow's diet can reduce methane emissions by more than 80 per cent.

Livestock account for 10 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions.

A Tasmanian start-up is hoping to fix this problem by farming the waterborne plant and supplying it to farmers.

Former fashion designer Sam Elsom is the founder of Sea Forest, which is growing the plant at Triabunna on Tasmania's east coast.

"In our hatchery, we get the seaweed to attach to ropes and we're deploying that out in the ocean in a marine lease," he said.

Key points:

  • A Tasmanian start-up is farming a special native red seaweed for its methane-reducing properties when fed to livestock
  • The state's largest milk company is starting a trial with the product to see if it can be used at scale on working farms
  • The partnership hopes to reduce methane produced by livestock, which accounts for 10 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions

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