Seagriculture USA

11 - 12 September 2024

Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

Large scale seaweed farming: how the crop start is controlled for optimal yields

Job Schipper, Director, SEAWISER, The Netherlands

About speaker:

Job Schipper is independent advisor/consultant for the seaweed industry working with a small team of technologists in the company SEAWISER.  Job is specialized in the propagation, seeding and cultivation of kelp species. With a background in horticulture, seed technology, laboratory management and business/sales/marketing,  he founded Hortimare in 2008 to be the first ‘seed’ and breeding company for seaweed in Europe. 

His mission is to assist the emerging seaweed farming to develop to a larger scale, by sharing his experience in both the last 15 years in hands-on seaweed farming and business, connecting this with his background in the agricultural sector.  Job is able to use multidisciplinary angles to find solutions for a wide scope of problems.



With a small team of researchers, SEAWISER works on research projects in their laboratory facility, improving propagation and seeding technologies. The SEAWISER team has emerged from complementary seaweed and technical backgrounds. They use this expertise to develop new technologies like the SEASEEDER and improving the glue used for direct seeding (www.seawiser.com) . At the laboratory, they scaled the production of kelp gametophytes for a higher efficiency and a reliable low cost seed supply for the farm. Seawiser is serving clients globally with research service, advise, technology and equipment.

Today, together with three consultants, SEAWISER is involved in Seaweed Connectors (www.swdconnectors.com), advising globally to companies and authorities on almost any kind of seaweed related topics.


Over the last decade seaweed farming has been developed in Europe, the America’s and Australia / New Zealand. However compared to Asia, the acreages are still relative small and the produced biomass too little to attract large industries. Scaling of the seaweed farms to a unit production each of around 10.000 ton wet weight, would reduce the cost price and make seaweed as a raw material much more interesting for industrial applications.

The crop start is the most critical stage of the farming process. Establishing a crop which is uniform, having the right density and producing the expected yield is common in agriculture, but still wishful in seaweed farming. At SEAWISER we focused on the critical aspects of seaweed crop establishment when farming at large scale. After the pre-conditions are fulfilled, like optimal site selection, nutrient supply and genotype selection, the next step is seeding the crop. In this talk the large volume gametophyte production and induction process will be discussed and the development of the direct seeding methods evaluated. The innovative SEASEEDER for direct seeding is presented including the perspectives on improvements to bring the large scale farming opportunities closer then ever before.