Newsroom Sea Forest was a finalist at The Earthshot Prize Awards 2023, with its revolutionary seaweed-based livestock feed

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Sea Forest was a finalist at The Earthshot Prize Awards 2023, with its revolutionary seaweed-based livestock feed

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Fri, 17 Nov 2023
Sea Forest was a finalist at The Earthshot Prize Awards 2023, with its revolutionary seaweed-based livestock feed

Sea Forest, an Australian company founded by Mr Sam Elsom, was a finalist in The Earthshot Prize Awards 2023. Their sustainable solution addresses one of the planet's most critical environmental challenges — drastically reducing methane emissions from livestock farming.

The ceremony for The Earthshot Prize Awards 2023, dedicated to addressing global issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, was held in Singapore on 7 November, 2023. Sea Forest was among the top 15 finalists (chosen from 1,100 entries), thanks to their innovative solution that seeks to nearly eliminate methane emissions from livestock farming.

Mr Sam Elsom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Sea Forest, along with Mr Stephen Turner, Chair of Sea Forest, visited James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore during the same week as the awards ceremony. We were also honoured to have His Excellency Mr Allaster Cox, the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, join our guests and staff on campus. This meeting provided an opportunity for discussions about Sea Forest's initiatives, and JCU in Singapore's sustainability goals including contributing to Singapore’s “30 by 30” strategy that aims to have 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs produced locally by 2030.

Sea Forest’s pioneering approach is SeaFeed™ — a feed supplement for cattle and sheep made from native red seaweed, Asparagopsis. By incorporating just 0.5% of SeaFeed™ into an animal's regular diet, methane production can be significantly reduced by up to 90%.

"Asparagopsis proves that while climate change is complex the solutions don’t have to be. As soon as livestock consume our feed supplement, they immediately produce significantly less methane. That matters because cattle and other farm animals are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire global transport sector,” explained Mr Elsom.

“So by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we are not only addressing a significant environmental threat but also offering a tangible solution to secure food production for the growing global population,” continued Mr Elsom.

According to the United Nations, livestock agriculture contributes roughly 32% of human-caused global methane emissions, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping atmospheric heat. Therefore, by reducing the amount of methane being belched by cattle and sheep into the atmosphere, Asparagopsis can play a crucial role in combating global warming.

“The commitment of Sea Forest to tackle methane emissions is admirable. Their unwavering efforts to environmental stewardship not only acknowledges the urgency of mitigating methane emissions but also demonstrates a great standard for industry-academia collaboration,” commented His Excellency Mr Cox.

Mr Elsom's collaboration with JCU dates back more than six years ago when he reached out to marine biologist and seaweed expert Professor Rocky de Nys, who is now Chief Scientific Officer at Sea Forest, and Emeritus Professor at James Cook University in Australia. Professor de Nys has been instrumental in discovering Asparagopsis for methane abatement, showcasing the practical application of scientific research in addressing pressing environmental challenges.

"We believe that addressing methane emissions is crucial for a sustainable future. Sea Forest's innovative solution aligns with JCU’s commitment to environmental responsibility," shared Professor Chris Rudd, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus at JCU in Singapore.

Find out more about the Tropical Futures Institute.

Discover further information on areas of research, and research strength at James Cook University in Singapore.


Media: Ms Pinky Sibal [email protected]