Snapshot: South Australian seaweeds

“Why is the sea green?” “Because the sea weed.”

Did you know that South Australia has 1400 varieties of seaweed? This image taken in 2012 shows the large amount washed up in Largs Bay, Adelaide. According to Professor Zhang of Flinders University “There are 1400 varieties of seaweed here, more diversity than anywhere else in the world.  15% of the recorded world red and brown seaweed species are found in the SE of the State alone, and nationally, over 60% of these seaweeds are only found in Australia”.

Seaweed wrack (marine flora washed up on beaches) is a significant contributor to beach and inshore marine foodwebs with higher levels of nutrients being measured on beaches with higher marine wrack than lower marine wrack.

There are also uses for agriculture, with seaweeds being used as fertilisers and soil enhancers. Celtic and Scandinavian farmers have been adding seaweed to their soils for centuries. When I was in Denmark in 2008, I saw houses on the island of Laesoe which had roofs made of seaweed.


Flinders University seaweed research. South Australia- the Seeweed capital of the World!

Ecological Assessment of the South Australian Beach-Cast Seagrass and Marine Algae Fishery. Assessment Report. Prepared for the department of THE ENVIRONMENT (DotE). For the purposes of part 13 and 13(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. 31 march 2014

Gardening Australia- Seaweed fertilisers


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