Seagriculture Speaker

Seagriculture Asia-Pacific

8 - 9 February 2023


Seaweed farming: the essentials of scaling the opportunity

Job Schipper, Partner, Advisor, SWD Connectors, The Netherlands

About the speaker: 

Job Schipper is an independent advisor/consultant for the seaweed industry with the company SEAWISER.  Job is specialized in 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. 

Today, together with three consultants, he is involved in Seaweed Connectors (, advising globally to companies and authorities on almost any kind of seaweed-related topics.

With a small team of researchers, SEAWISER works on research projects in their own laboratory facility, improving propagation and seeding technologies. Recently the first 2-step direct seeding machine (SEASEEDER) has been brought to the market.

Company info: 

Seaweed Connectors (SWD Connectors) provides seaweed consultancy services. Field of expertise ranging from seaweed propagation towards seaweed processing and extraction technologies.


Over the last decade seaweed farming has been developing in Europe, the America’s and Australia / New Zealand. However compared to Asia, the acreages are still very small and the produced biomass too little to attract large industries. Scaling of the seaweed farms to a unit production 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.

Several projects have been initiated to develop seaweed cultivation rigs which allow moving further offshore. Most elementary however is the farm site selection. In this talk we review recent scientific research work and complement this with our team experience. Important selection criteria, such as bio-fouling and nutrient supply will be discussed with respect to cultivation approach and yield. An example on the organizational and planning aspects and connection to the processing industry will be discussed.


Seaweed; cultivation; offshore; site selection; nutrients; ERP


1) When was the first time you got involved with seaweeds and why?

In 2008 I established the first seaweed breeding company in Europe: Hortimare. I envisioned then the enormous potential of seaweed farming for production as an alternative protein source but also all the other valuable compounds from the biomass. Additional to that the strong benefit of using the sea as  cultivation area, reducing the pressure on searching for arable land and fresh water. Since the seas in some regions are fully loaded with nutrients from land run offs or fish farming, these could being a valuable source for the seaweed growth. The seed companies I worked for in horticulture and agriculture were always the basis of a successful production chain and the inspiration to build this likewise in the seagriculture business.

2) What is your view on the Asia-Pacific seaweed industry in 2030?

The Asia-Pacific seaweed industry is impressive and learns us about the potential but also about problems which may occur. Together with the Asian experience I hope we will build a seaweed industry which will cover the globe, which uses and respects the natural diversity of species and provides a sustainable produced biomass for existing and new applications. I expect the size of seaweed farms will grow considerably the next decade and mechanization and smart farming will be key elements to achieve this.

3) What will you be talking about at Seagriculture Asia-Pacific 2023?

I will talk about scaling of seaweed production in general. I believe that we need to go through a development like what happened in scaling of the agriculture in the past. This means searching for the best sites, moving offshore, mechanization of the operation and a close planning/logistical connection between the producer and the off-taker.