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NEW ZEALAND: Algae and fish farm link prospects on global science agenda

NEW ZEALAND: Algae and fish farm link prospects on global science agenda | Oumelkheir | Scoop.it

Some of the best scientific minds in the world will this week focus on exploring any potential link between harmful algal blooms and fish farms.

 

The issue has been put on the agenda of an international algal bloom conference in Paris by senior scientist Lincoln MacKenzie, from Nelson research organisation Cawthron, who described it as a high priority.

 

His call comes as a toxic algal bloom has frozen the shellfish industry in Queen Charlotte Sound and in Tory Channel, where New Zealand King Salmon operates its Clay Point and Te Pangu Bay fish farms.

 

The scientists attending the Paris conference are part of the Geohab programme supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

 

On March 23, the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board warned against eating kina, mussels, pipi, tuatua, oysters and cockles harvested from Queen Charlotte Sound and Tory Channel.

 

Mussel companies voluntarily stopped harvesting in these areas from March 11.

 

The blooms have no effect on fish, including farmed salmon.

The Alexandrium catenella algae causing the problem was first found at the head of Opua Bay two or three years ago. However, Mr MacKenzie confirmed cysts had been present in sediment on the sea floor for at least 10 years and possibly a lot longer.

 

Opponents of New Zealand King Salmon's plans to build new fish farms in the Marlborough Sounds argued at an EPA hearing in Blenheim last year that waste from fish farms could increase the frequency and extent of algal blooms.

 

However, Mr MacKenzie said nothing he had seen suggested a connection between salmon farms and the the algal bloom in Tory Channel. The major source of nutrition for algae was natural oceanic nitrogen.

 

He went on to say nitrogen levels in the sea were similar from year to year but this toxic bloom was new.People tended to link harmful blooms and fish farming but in most cases he knew of, good evidence did not exist, Mr MacKenzie said.

 

Cawthron was asking for scientists around the world to work together on the issue because a better understanding of fish farm impacts on water quality and biology would help minimise effects on the environment.

 

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Algae biofuels: the wave of the future

Algae biofuels: the wave of the future | Oumelkheir | Scoop.it
Researchers at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have assembled the draft genome of a marine algae sequence to aid scientists across the US in a project that aims to discover the best algae species for producing biodiesel fuel.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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SAUDI ARABIA: BASF and NPC join forces to cooperate on algae technology

SAUDI ARABIA: BASF and NPC join forces to cooperate on algae technology | Oumelkheir | Scoop.it

National Prawn Company (Al-Laith, KSA) and BASF (Ludwighafen, Germany) have signed an agreement on collaboration in the field of algae technology The partnership has been encouraged by the long-decade experience and unique expertise of both companies: Since the 1980s, National Prawn Company has developed knowledge and expertise in designing, building and operating a large system of man-made-lakes especially for the production of high-quality prawns for the market.

Furthermore NPC is developing research programs on new algae species and sponsorships aquaculture projects around the world.

BASF on the other hand is the global leader in technologies relevant for growing and harvesting algae in open-lake-systems and in further processing the algae biomass into products used in beverages and dietary supplements.

Another important reason for this collaboration are the climatic conditions of the Red Sea desert coast line of Western Saudi Arabia that meet the environmental needs of sea-water algae and promote the growth of these organisms.

"The today signed contract is marking once more the ability of Saudi Companies to be equal partners with World Class enterprises like BASF. It also shows that we are capable of offering solutions for domestic and global needs. We are looking forward to a long cooperation with BASF, the world's leading chemical company," said NPC`s chairman Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi.

"With our portfolio in the market segments of food, beverages and dietary supplements we are able to meet and anticipate future needs. At the same time we are constantly trying to enhance nutrition quality and promote technological innovations," said Michael Ceranski, Senior Vice President of BASF`s Human Nutrition business unit. "Within these ambitious goals new partnerships like the collaboration with National Prawn Company are fundamental for us: NPC gives us access to more biomass from algae and to use and leverage the all-year non-changing climate conditions in Saudi-Arabia."

Eng. Ahmad Rasheed Al-Ballaa, Managing Director of National Prawn Company, pointed out: "We are very pleased and proud that National Prawn Company and BASF have succeeded in establishing this cooperation, bringing together the best of both companies to create a unique aquaculture project."

 

 

 

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How sewage is powering algae production of the future : Renew Economy

How sewage is powering algae production of the future : Renew Economy | Oumelkheir | Scoop.it
The use of untreated sewage - from toilets to ocean outlets - is delivering potential cost-effective solutions to growing algae.

Via Sylvain Rotillon
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