Asparagopsis armata Harv. Despite continuous promises that the company was on the verge of commercial production, its pilot plant only ever produced a tiny amount of green crude. The Asparagopsis taxiformis (hereafter Asparagopsis) was harvested from Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island (19 16 0 S, 146 85 0 E) near Townsville, Qld, Australia. The rhetoric is similar to that surrounding a previous venture Gerritsen founded in 2005 with renewable energy champion Barrie Leay and former Christchurch mayor Vicki Buck. The seaweed’s name is Asparagopsis taxiformis, better known as Asparagopsis. They combine fermentation by-product hydrogen with carbon dioxide, to produce methane and water. And unlike other seaweeds where the effect … Rhetoric aside, growing enough seaweed to reduce emissions in the world's cows presents a mammoth logistical challenge. Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. Dairy cows eat about 16kg of dry feed a day, so at 1 per cent that's 160g of seaweed per cow per day during milking season. Laboratory testing led by CSIRO has shown that this strand of seaweed has the potential to reduce a cow’s methane emissions by more than 80 per cent 1. Researcher Rob Kinley is a Canadian researcher with CSIRO - the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's at James Cook University in Queensland. * New bid to farm seaweed in NZ touted as a 'holy grail' * Top of the south can do more to make most of Provincial Growth Fund * Government announces $6m for national algae centre in Nelson * Surge in climate change gas methane means fix for burping cows urgently needed. A 2-hectare French farm, with 14km of cultivation rope, produced 8 tonnes of wet seaweed a year. That makes feeding a supplement a potential logistical nightmare. Scientific Name Authority (Delile) Trevis. Gerritsen says the economics of processing need more work, but at this stage it looks viable. However, the increase was not statistically significant and was still 500 times less than the United States maximum for drinking water. Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC) general manager Mark Aspin says the farming industry remains nervous about the risk to its reputation of bromoform residue turning up in meat or milk. Studies in both the lab and live animals have found supplementing the diet of sheep and dairy cows with 1-3 per cent of dried seaweed can reduce their methane emissions by 60-90 per cent. Reisinger says that means farmers might have to use lower levels of supplement – with lower methane reductions – to keep their cows healthy long-term. Asparagopsis armata is a native red seaweed, which grows throughout New Zealand. It's not the first time people have tried to grow red seaweed. This species has been introduced into the Mediterranean Sea around 1798-1801, being first found at Alexandria, Egypt. Asparagopsis taxiformis is widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics; and Asparagopsis armata seems to be a temperate species. But they had no idea how they got there. Andy Reisinger worries the claims about asparagopsis have leapt ahead of the practical realities. According To NIWA ed. Specifically, Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata — two species of a crimson submarine grass that drifts on waves and tides all … According To Called Aquaflow Bionomic, the company planned to produce biofuel from algae harvested from Blenheim poo ponds. "I don't think it's a bad idea. The seaweed’s has a pinking colour and a featherlike structure, a native to South Australia, Tasmania, and South Island of New Zealand. Børgesen 1919: 352, figs 347–351. I agree with comments that we have big issues to tackle in regards to methane sinks failing, such as permafrost, and there are things to be said about people moving en masse to plant based diets – but, the future will always be a mix of tomorrow and today. It is likely that there were two separate introductions: one by shipping and the other via the Suez Canal. This cold-water variety is perfectly suited to the Australian and New Zealand climate for sustainable, long-term, environmentally friendly cultivation. But people need to also be clear about what the solution looks like and what the implications are.". Rank species Governing Code ICBN ... Asparagopsis taxiformis (Delile) Trevis. Asparagopsis taxiformis Photo: Google Mr Kinley said they found the seaweed species Asparagopsis taxiformis reduced methane by more than 99 percent in the laboratory. Most scientists have focused on one red seaweed species —asparagopsis taxiformis — which thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climates. And the Provincial Growth Fund has awarded $500,000 to new company CH4 Global, which aims to grow and process the seaweed in New Zealand and South Australia. NIWA, Wellington. While … Both are working with Australian teams at research organisation CSIRO and James Cook University, who discovered that the fluffy native algae could reduce the amount of methane let off by farm animals. Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet. "If it's very volatile and broken down quite quickly, it won't be giving the same kind of impacts you see or hear reported in literature of 80-90 per cent knockdown.". Two Asparagopsis species are currently recognized: Asparagopsis armata Harvey and Asparagopsis taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan. How does it work? Gerritsen has also predicted CH4 would be the first commercial scale producer and leading global supplier into Australasia, California and other farming areas. We just need cows to eat seaweed. My company is currently working to grow Asparagopsis Taxiformis, here in the US, for this purpose. This species has been introduced into the Mediterranean Sea around 1798-1801, being first found at Alexandria, Egypt. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. The Washington Post - One of the most powerful weapons in the fight against climate change is washing up on shorelines around the world, unnoticed by most beachgoers. The other major obstacle to using seaweed inhibitors on New Zealand farms is the fact our sheep, beef cattle and dairy cows mostly eat grass. It comes in two varieties, a warm water species, Asparagopsis taxiformis and a cold water species, Asparagopsis armata. Asparagopsis taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan 1845: 45. READ MORE: * What happened to Nelson's algae-to-biofuel company that was going to change the world? The first of their four stomachs – the oxygen-starved rumen – contains an army of micro-organisms that help ferment the feed, reducing it to smaller molecules that the animal can then turn into energy. Specifically, Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata — two species of a crimson submarine grass that drifts on waves and tides all around the world’s oceans. The South Australia project is researching both taxiformis and armata, while the New Zealand efforts are limited to armata. So that's New Zealand's climate emissions problem one-third solved. (2019) NIWA Soft Sedimentary Algae. Unlike most microbes in the gut, scientists' best guess is that methanogens are not essential to digestion, so if you could reduce their activity, you could reduce methane emissions without affecting the animal's growth and health. Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium manager Mark Aspin says any feed supplement would have limitations for NZ's mostly grass-fed cows. So that's what we're seeing in some of those trials. At the root of the excitement is the red seaweed Asparagopsis. Most relate to Asparagopsis taxiformis, not the armata species native to New Zealand. More about this seaweed on the wildfacts sheets on wildsingapore.. For a high res version of this photo, please review the details on about using my photos.When making the request, please include this reference: 070415sisg8606 Their first target market is California, where lawmakers have decreed the state must reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, which requires methane cuts in its 1.7 million dairy cows and 650,000 beef cattle. Despite looking like plants, seaweeds have a complex life history. New Zealand Environmental Context Wild Occurrence Present Origin Indigenous. Gerritsen does not accept he over-hyped Aquaflow and says it's unfair to compare the two. Asparagopsis taxiformis … Asparagopsis taxiformis concentrates halogenated compounds which are known to inhibit cobamide-dependent methanogenesis in vitro and therefore has potential to mitigate enteric methane production. Gerritsen says CH4's comparisons suggest there's little difference in effectiveness, but an American researcher has said armata is only about half as potent. As well as harvesting wild Asparagopsis on Rakiura, CH4 Global is undertaking tank trials to grow the seaweed from cuttings and has experimental growing ropes in the ocean – like mussel lines – in both Rakiura and South Australia. The red macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis is a potent natural antimethanogenic that reduces methane production during in vitro fermentation with rumen fluid Robert D. Kinley A C, Rocky de Nys B, Matthew J. Vucko B, Lorenna Machado B and Nigel W. Tomkins A That would mean 1000 tonnes a day just to feed the New Zealand dairy herd. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. But seaweed is 70-90 per cent water, so the drying costs could be astronomical. But behind those numbers lie logistical, food safety and animal health questions. Asparagopsis taxiformis is widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics (Bonin and Hawkes 1987, Huisman and Walker 1990). "Climate change is a real, serious problem so we shouldn't leave any stone unturned in looking for solutions. Reisinger says New Zealand must find ways to reduce methane, and should not reject anything because it's not perfect. The Japanese grew nori for hundreds of years by putting bamboo stakes in the ocean and waiting for the nori blades to appear. ​CH4 Global co-founder – cleantech entrepreneur Nick Gerritsen – is promising big things. It turns out that Asparagopsis taxiformis reduces methane production by more than 99% in the lab. Abstract Two species of the genus Asparagopsis occur in New Zealand waters: A. taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan- from the Kermadec Islands and A. armata Harvey- throughout the rest of New Zealand. Add algae to their feed and they'll belch out up to 95 per cent less methane, he says. Asparagopsis taxiformis, known as Red Algae, is a species of red algae or Rhodophyta, with cosmopolitan distribution in tropical to warm temperate waters. Asparagopsis taxiformis, (limu kohu) formerly A. sanfordiana, is a species of red alga, with cosmopolitan distribution in tropical to warm temperate waters. It also depletes the ozone layer. A. Asparagopsis armata is a red seaweed native to New Zealand and South Australia (and introduced into other areas of the world such as Chile, North Sea and other areas). " Asparagopsis taxiformis -- a red seaweed that grows in the tropics -- in short-term studies in lactating dairy cows decreased methane emission by … Selected citations: Bonin & Hawkes 1987: 586, fig. The systematics and nomenclature of these two species has been reassessed and details of their anatomy, habitat, seasonality, and biogeography are given. The PGGRC is also investigating methane-reducing alternatives, looking for other inhibiting compounds that would work in a grass grazing system, investigating a methane vaccine and trying to selectively breed sheep with naturally lower methane emissions. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to washingtonpost.com on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. Unlike humans, sheep and cattle can digest cellulose in plants. I think it's an idea where claims have run ahead of the evidence and people haven't addressed core problems, or have tried to ignore them or make them go away by continuing to be terribly excited about it.". "I think there's still quite a bit of work to do. They're also investigating using existing freeze-drying operations in Invercargill to process the seaweed to a dried powder. CH4 Global co-founder Nick Gerritsen (File photo). Even then, Aspin says, the seaweed supplement would have to be long-acting to work, because cows graze for 6-8 hours after milking, and that's when methane is produced. It's not trivial to think about no residues, no food safety issues, no challenges like that. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Bonnemaisoniales – Family Bonnemaisoniaceae. The business could create more than 3000 new jobs, CH4's website says. Nelson's Cawthron Institute is running a one-year research project, with $100,000 in government funding, to look at Asparagopsis's preferred growing conditions. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. What are the sets of conditions that would enable you to control the seeding on to ropes or whatever technique is best? In laboratory testing led by CSIRO, the seaweed has shown the potential to reduce the … New bid to farm seaweed in NZ touted as a 'holy grail', Top of the south can do more to make most of Provincial Growth Fund, Government announces $6m for national algae centre in Nelson, Surge in climate change gas methane means fix for burping cows urgently needed, raised the bromoform problem back in 2016, Aquaflow Bionomic, the company planned to produce biofuel from algae harvested from Blenheim poo ponds, UC Davis study that tested Asparagopsis armata on 12 dairy cows, Another crate day, another nightmare for New Zealand's emergency departments, Covid-19: US records most coronavirus deaths in single day, passing April mark, Tom Felton gets emotional watching first Harry Potter film for first time in 20 years, New Zealand vs West Indies: Williamson, Latham put hosts firmly on top, The outdoor sportsmen who say they removed the US monolith: 'If you think we're proud, we're not', 'Setting you up to fail': NZ couple issued 'impossible' flight itineraries by popular booking site Kiwi.com, Man facing bigamy charge put off until February, Covid-19: The billionaire husband and wife 'dream team' who created the coronavirus vaccine, Quiz: Afternoon trivia challenge Dec 3 2020, Baby born from 27-year-old frozen embryo breaks world record. Asparagopsis taxiformis is a species of seaweed native to Tasmania, South Australia and the South Island of New Zealand. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. Only about 29 per cent of NZ dairy sheds have the ability to feed metered doses of supplements. "For Asparagopsis, I think the nut still has to be cracked. To save the planet, we don't have to go vegan, says international climate change activist David Wallace-Wells. Asparagopsis taxiformis, known as Red Algae, is a species of red algae or Rhodophyta, with cosmopolitan distribution in tropical to warm temperate waters. Andy Reisinger, the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre deputy director, who raised the bromoform problem back in 2016, says his concerns remain unanswered. Asparagopsis taxiformis. But how do you feed it to a sheep grazing on the far flanks of a high country sheep station? But iodine levels rose so much that further processing could be needed to meet daily limits. Asparagopsis taxiformis produces bromoform, which scientists believe is the active ingredient in reducing methane emissions in livestock such as cows. Depending on the species, seaweeds can be grown in horizontal nets at the sea surface, on dropper lines like mussels, suspended in nets, in tanks or in cordoned off pieces of sea. The level of inclusion to get very high reductions does suppress feed intake.". Climate action is a major priority for Fonterra with methane emissions from dairy herds contributing to climate change, and this is one of several initiatives for the company. Asked how easy it is to grow algae, NIWA seaweed specialist Wendy Nelson laughs. The distribution of A. armataand A. taxiformisis broad and has been shown to be partly due to several introduction events,. In fact, the seaweed is already farmed off the coast of the Stewart Island in New Zealand by a Kiwi company. Cawthron Institute scientist Dr Johan Svenson works on a sample of seaweed that researchers hope could reduce New Zealand's methane emissions. Of the 30 million tonnes produced annually around the world, about 29 million is farmed. Gerritsen estimates 1000ha of Asparagopsis farm would be enough to provide 10 per cent of that market, and that should be doable by 2022. But scientists and farming industry bodies are wary. However, scientists should also look beyond the hype. The trial will use Asparagopsis, a seaweed grown naturally in Australia and New Zealand, as a supplement feed for herds in Tasmania during the coming milk season. In New Zealand they've produced more than a tonne of the algae, but that's almost all wild harvest. Asparagopsis taxiformis is found through-out the Pacific, Mediterranean and other warmer water regions. The methane, or CH4, is released when the animal burps. On the face of it, the research looks promising. It exhibits a strong invasive behavior and therefore it was included in the list of the “Worst Invasives in the Mediterranean Sea” ( Zenetos et al., 2010 ). We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. In trials, the seaweed is mixed with a dry food ration. While it occurs in low levels in chlorinated water, the United States' Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a probable human cancer-causer. "If this was easy, by logic you'd think it would have been solved by now," one person commented. For one research study, the seaweed was blast frozen for six hours then freeze dried for another 30 hours. Two species of the genus Asparagopsis occur in New Zealand waters: A. taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan—from the Kermadec Islands and A. armata Harvey — throughout the rest of New Zealand. But a UC Davis study that tested Asparagopsis armata on 12 dairy cows raised questions about that equation. While the methane-reduction numbers seem compelling, they merit closer scrutiny. Methane from farm animals makes up about one third of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions. Proponents argue that in seaweed, bromoform is locked away in a complex cellular structure. Asparagopsis taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan de Saint-Léon occurs along tropical and warm temperate coasts, and shows disjoint Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indo-Pacific populations. Unfortunately, the reality is a little more complicated. The genus Asparagopsis(Rhodophyta) is a good candidate for exploring these processes, namely cryptic diversity and introduction to explain a cosmopolitan distribution. You don't, says Aspin. Among the microbes are methanogens, which like to hang out in oxygen-free spots. One selling point of the seaweed supplement is that methane production wastes energy, so reducing it should mean cows can eat less and still maintain the same healthy weight and milk production. "Suddenly they could grow the microscopic phase in huge warehouses, could change the temperature of the water and the lighting conditions, hey presto you get spore release, they could seed their nets and that led to huge scale industrialisation of the nori farming. Former staff say the media hype bore no resemblance to the reality on the ground.