foto Peter Schmedes, DTU Aqua

Seaweed and mussels to boost climate friendly food products

Seaweed and shellfish farming has great natural potential in Denmark and can become the climate-friendly food of the future. New, large, international project collaboration over the next four years will increase efforts for the blue foods that can make some progress in the green transition.

In order to achieve the goal of a 70 percent reduction in CO2 in 2030 and become a sustainable leading country in an environmentally and climate-stressed world, it is absolutely necessary to look at food production. As the country is located in Denmark, we traditionally have meat, grain and quota fish on the dining table - three types of food that burden our environment. Here, blue foods such as seaweed and shellfish enter the scene as a bid for a significantly climate-friendly new player in food production.

With the project Low Trophic Aquaculture: blue food for green transition (LTA BOOST) - which is co-financed by the Innovation Fund with a grant of 17.8 million DKK - the consortium of two institutes at DTU, a French university and a number of production companies will boost a new form of sustainable blue food production by providing innovation and new technology for new production systems."Low-trophic aquaculture" - i.e. breeding of species that do not need to be fed because they extract nutrients directly from the marine environment - is the new variety when we talk about the green transition. This is because seaweed and shellfish are both healthy and because farming has a positive impact on the environment and climate. We cannot continue as before. Food production has had far too great a strain, says Professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen, who is DTU Aqua's project manager on LTA BOOST.

Fantastic natural condition

"We just need to develop the right methods for native species, and we are looking here at oysters and tangerines."
Jens Kjerulf Petersen, professor at DTU Aqua

Denmark is right now a place where we have fantastic natural conditions for low trophic aquaculture and we have a burgeoning industry that is eager to get down to business. In addition, DTU has established the absolutely necessary prerequisite to boost low-trophic aquaculture, a new, modern hatchery.

"We just need to develop the right methods for native species, and we are looking here at oysters and kelp mud," says Jens Kjerulf Petersen, as he is pleased that it is now possible to start the blue development with help from the Innovation Fund's grant.

The boost to blue food production is also expected to create many new jobs outside the big cities and growth in the business community that is already cultivating seaweed and shellfish.

The unique project consortium, where there is both science and practical experience, guarantees that there is a short path from project results to implementation in reality. The methods and technologies for farming oysters and pollock developed within LTA BOOST can be implemented directly by industry project partners.

Facts and partners


The Innovation Fund's investment: DKK 17.8 million. DKK
Total budget: DKK 23.7 million. DKK
Duration: 4 years
Official title: Low Trophic Aquaculture: blue food for green transition, LTA BOOST.

About the partners

DTU Aqua is Denmark's leading research institution in terms of developing methods for growing shellfish and seaweed and, with a brand new state-of-the-art hatchery at Mors, has a central role in the development of the area. DTU Aqua is leading the project.
DTU SUSTAIN are specialists in e.g. water purification and technologies for water treatment and is a leader in Denmark in the field. In the project, DTU SUSTAIN will be responsible for the development of technologies that can ensure optimal conditions for work in the hatchery.
The University of Nantes and their spin-off company AlgaSolis are European leaders in the cultivation of microalgae and are central to the development of optimal and cost-effective methods for the cultivation of microalgae.
Muslingeriet is a well-established company with several breeding facilities in the Limfjord for the cultivation of mussels and is one of the country's leading companies in the development of technologies and methods for breeding mussel species, and in the project will focus on final growth in the fjord.
Oyster Boat is the country's only company that specializes exclusively in growing oysters. Oyster Boat is based in Lemvig and has many years of experience in developing methods for specialized oyster farming and will focus in the project on methods for final growth.
Ocean Rainforest is a Faroese company and one of Europe's largest seaweed producers. Ocean Rainforest is a driving force in the development of effective methods for breeding seaweed species and participates in several EU projects and will primarily work in LTA BOOST with production scaling and modules for final growth in the sea.
Pure Algae is a company focused on developing methods for growing seaweed on land. Pure Algae has a leading role in the field in Denmark and in LTA BOOST will be responsible for essential technology development in relation to hatchery and land-based final growth.
Kerteminde Seafarm is a unique company in the consortium, as they are the only company that works with both shellfish and seaweed. Kerteminde Seafarm has experience from open waters such as the Great Belt and will contribute to the development of methods for final growth in the sea.
Aliga is the country's largest producer of microalgae and has developed several prototypes of photobioreactors used in the production of microstorage. In the project, Aloga makes their top model of a photobioreactor available for further development and tests.
Elentec is a UK-based company developing new methods for water treatment with a focus on electrochemical water treatment. Elentec has experience from several different sectors of food production and will contribute with completely new methods for use in hatcheries.