Sat | Jun 19, 2021

Seaweed can cut greenhouse gas emissions

Published:Saturday | May 15, 2021 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I read with interest the article on Earth Day in The Gleaner of May 13, where Nicholas Kee, a young scientist, and a group were engaging in farming, initially, 10 of a planned 25 acres of seaweed, both to explore this as an alternative source of income for fishermen. Seaweeds are reported to be efficient sequesters of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases causing adverse climate change.

There is another aspect of seaweed that Kee should find very worthy of exploring. This is the use of seaweed in animal feed, for at least two reasons.

Firstly, a recent report on research done at the University of California at Davis, reported in the March 18 issue of Cosmos Magazine, shows that including a small amount of a seaweed in cattle feed resulted in a significant reduction of their greenhouse gas emission.

Cattle are said to emit some 15 per cent of greenhouse gases by their passing of, especially, methane, in addition to carbon dioxide. The incorporation of the seaweed into their feed showed an 80 per cent reduction in the methane in their burp, and further research showed that the cattle showed no loss in growth or quality of their meat.

Also, seaweed, which is found in abundance off the coasts of Scotland, is used there as feed for sheep, with seaweed being the only source of animal feed that some of these sheep consume.

TREVOR YEE

The Natural Products Institute

The University of the West

Indies, Mona