Fearless Fund leads a MARINER Category 1 project to design and develop a new system to enable large-scale macroalgae “ranching” using remote sensing, imaging, and modeling technologies. The core concept targets monitoring free-floating, low-impact Sargassum seaweed in the Tropical Atlantic for cost-effective biomass harvest. Fearless Fund’s cultivation process is designed to mimic naturally occurring seaweed mats found at the surface of the ocean. The concept leverages the buoyancy of Sargassum, reducing capital costs from infrastructure, labor, and seeding normally associated with seaweed farming. Fearless Fund is investigating the potential to artificially “seed” currents with Sargassum cuttings. The team envisions that Sargassum could be ranched within Atlantic currents, where it can grow to maturity at a predicted rate. Circular currents constrain the crop, with trajectories estimated from statistical and historical data. Remote sensing technologies are used to monitor the crop over a three month cultivation season before harvesting the new crop using logistically-optimized processes and transport.
PI: Alyson Myers; firstname.lastname@example.org
PNNL, LANL, Glosten