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Biosecurity for the Australian Seaweed Industry

The Australian seaweed industry is growing, with particular interest in farming Asparagopsis for ruminant methane reduction, and kelps (Ecklonia, Macrocystis, Undaria), sea lettuce (Ulva) and other species for food, bioproducts and other uses. The seaweed knowledge base and tools available for managers are limited, particularly for biosecurity. FRDC 2021-112 aims to inform decisions about translocation of Asparagopsis and Ecklonia and will provide a seaweed disease review, but additional information and tools are required to manage seaweed biosecurity. This proposal is for a project to build on information obtained by the FRDC project and use industry stakeholder perspectives obtained in a workshop to develop an adaptive biosecurity management framework and guidelines for industry and managers. The biosecurity framework will utilise knowledge from AQUAPLAN and AQUAVETPLAN Manuals and approaches to biosecurity used in other aquatic sectors in Australia. The biosecurity guidelines will be adaptable and complementary to the DAFF generic and sector-specific biosecurity plan templates, guidance documents and modules for policy implementation developed for aquaculture industries. Approaches to biosecurity management will be sufficiently flexible that farms can adopt solutions tailored to their biosecurity needs, suitable for the biology and ecology of farmed macroalgal species, and consistent with the Progressive Management Pathway for improving seaweed biosecurity. Guidance will be provided on approaches to diagnostic sampling during seaweed disease events, and disease management strategies for operators. Contact lists of pathologists and other relevant staff will be developed, informed by industry, plant and aquatic health professionals with experience in seaweed diseases. Project communication will be provided with industry and through peak bodies.

Project date

11 Aug 2023-31 Aug 2024
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Principal investigator

Kathryn Wiltshire

Research organisations

Project funded by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Aquaculture Cereal grains Cross industry Essential oils Fruits Game Honey bees Nuts Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed Poultry Pulse grains

AgriFutures Australia

AgriFutures Australia proudly focuses on building a rich future for Australian agriculture. We live and work in the regions and …
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    Research funding body

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