We want to make a bio fertilizer out of brown algae to fight the sargassum plague
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. The mass accumulation of algae on beaches deters swim bathers. Furthermore, there is a foul odor that can accompany algae when it washes up on shore.
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.
The project went through the Enactus Munich Gating process and was first established as a official project by our founding members.
The members travelled to the Dominican Republic for the first time and established important contacts to the local farmers and universities.
The second travel to the DR of our members occurred and we secured testing partnerships with universities and farms.
Went to Berlin to take part in a competition of sdw because we won a large grant the year before.