Seagriculture USA

11 - 12 September 2024

Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

Seaweed down under – overview of the seaweed industry in Australia

Jo Lane, CEO, Sea Health Products, Australia

About speaker:

Jo Lane is on a mission to introduce kelp farming aquaculture to Australia. With a Marine Science degree and post graduate qualifications in Environmental Studies, Jo is passionate about introducing regenerative ocean farming to improve the health of our marine environment and produce sustainable food products.

In 2019, Jo received a Churchill Fellowship and travelled to Korea Ireland, Scotland, Faroe Islands, Norway, USA and Canada to investigate appropriate technologies to introduce kelp farming aquaculture to Australia. Since returning, she and her team have built a laboratory and successfully bred a native Australian kelp species, Ecklonia radiata, ready to be deployed in the ocean for farming and restoration projects. The impact of climate change on our warming oceans is leading to the decline of our kelp forests. Jo hopes to make a positive contribution to address the issues impacting our marine environment and to inspire others.



Sea Health Products is one of Australia’s first seaweed businesses and began in the late 1960’s on the south coast of NSW. The company harvests kelp for its popular health and wellness range of seasonings and skincare.  When Jo Lane was working for the Department of Fisheries in 2005, she processed the permit of Sea Health Products to collect kelp – she was intrigued and didn’t realise at the time that she would buy the business 10 years later!

Since 2015, Sea Health Products has continued to hand-harvest and naturally process kelp but soon became aware that this method is inconsistent, seasonal and unreliable. Kelp farming seemed like a sensible option, but as there are currently no commercial kelp farms in Australia there were two main challenges – access to water and access to seedstock.  After building a Kelp Lab and now securing a marine lease, Sea Health Products is ready to establish kelp farming aquaculture in Australia. 


The seaweed industry in Australia is quite small and nascent but has immense opportunities for growth. Surrounded by sea, Australian coastal waters are home to thousands of native seaweed species, many of which show promise in a variety of applications. 

This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of play in the seaweed industry in Australia as well introduce Sea Health Products, a small kelp business establishing kelp farming aquaculture in Australia. Sea Health Products has 2 x 20-hectare marine leases in South Australia, an operating kelp lab and has undertaken successful growth trials with ocean restoration and kelp farming projects. 

Jo will discuss the challenges and opportunities for development of the seaweed industry in Australia.