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Is seaweed farming for you?

GreenWave's course can help participants decide whether to they want to pursue seaweed farming.

Aspiring seaweed farmers in Australia can tap into the experience US kelp farmers through a new online course.

The US non-profit agency GreenWave is running 'How to start a kelp farm' a free six-week guided course, starting 10 January, 2023.

The course will expose those inspired about the prospect of kelp farming to the practical realities of establishing and running an ocean farm – the steps needed to turn passion into practice, as GreenWave co-founder Bren Smith describes it.

Each week for an hour, live classes will be streamed discussing the practical requirements of kelp farming.

While Australian conditions will differ from those in the US, in terms of ocean environments, species, marine leases and permits, the practical farming information is expected to have a universal application.

Bren says much of the value of the course is in learning how to think about farming in the ocean, the choices that need to be made to run a successful business, what day-to-day operations look like and how to problem-solve as the business is building.

By the end of the course, participants are expected to know whether kelp farming is right for them, and to have a roadmap for getting started.

It is the first time GreenWave has offered this course online, adding to GreenWave's in-person training.

Interest in seaweed and demand for training has grown to such an extent that the online program already has 900 participants registered, most in the US, but also from many other countries around the world, including Australia.

GreenWave established its online Ocean Farming Hub in April 2022, to help build a community for kelp farmers and would-be farmers to share information. It currently has an active community of 3000 members.

'How to start a kelp farm' is expected to be offered annually.

The 2023 course starts at 2pm EST on Tuesday 10 January 2023 (6am AEDT, Wednesday 11 January).

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