We use the Sargassum algae plague in the Dominican Republic as a way to produce algae-based biostimulants for local farmers. At the same time, we clean the coasts of the algae and create jobs in the region.
As a result of climate change and over-fertilization, excessive amounts of the sargassum reach the Caribbean coasts every year. Sargassum is a type of seaweed or brown algae that spends its life on the sea or ocean surface. Research by scientists has shown that the amount of Sargassum has increased tenfold in the last decade and projections indicate that the number will increase in the coming years. Offshore, sargassum serves as an important natural habitat and food source for marine life. However, onshore, it has several negative consequences:
- The creation of dead zones. Dead zones are areas in water where aquatic life can not survive due to low oxygen levels. Low oxygen levels can occur when algae dies and is decomposed by bacteria.
- Low fishing yields. Since aquatic life cannot survive in dead zones, fishermen can suffer from a decrease in catch. Additionally, large amounts of algae get tangled in their nets and rotors.
- Adversely affects tourism. Die massenhafte Ansammlung von Algen an den Stränden schreckt Badegäste ab. Außerdem können Algen einen üblen Geruch verbreiten, wenn sie an Land gespült werden
Our project adresses the following Sustainable Development Goals :
The Sargassum algae is rich in nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate, sulfate and sugars) that can act as biostimulants. SeaSoilution fights the sargassum plague by producing organic fertilizer from this algae. The supply chain is short and environmentally friendly: we collect the algae in cooperation with our local contacts and process it into organic fertilizer through drying and solid-liquid extraction. The packaged product is sold to local farmers.
The effectiveness of fertilizer in improving soil quality and long-term plant growth has been proven by scientists (Louime et al., 2016). Our price is competitive and algae based fertilizer fits the demand of organic farmers in the Dominican Republic.
- Established partnerships with German and Dominican universities.
- Supported by and collaborated with German and Dominican companies.
- Experimental validation of the product.
The Team Leads
Maria Magdalena Rochkova
ANDRES TAPIA SUASNAVAS