South Africa’s $85-billion oceans economy opportunity

South Africa is blessed with one of the world’s most biodiverse, fertile and commercially lucrative coastlines on the planet; and one product in particular that we have in abundance is set to see a massive future spike in demand.

There’s a global industry opportunity, that I’ve been banging on for some time now – that as far as I can tell – is being pretty much ignored here,” writes SA futurist and innovation specialist, Jonathan Cherry.

“That product is seaweed – kelp.

“According to many sources – as well as CNBC – the demand for seaweed products is about to take off. [see video below]

“As far as we know there are a few processing plants in the Western Cape that create fertilisers and other secondary products from our local seaweed, but the harvesting of food-grade seaweed for the export market is still fairly limited.

“Seaweed farming – I would assume – forms an important part of the government’s focus on the oceans economy, but I would hazard a guess that it’s nowhere near the commercial capacity that it needs to be to take full advantage of the speculated $85-billion dollar global demand that’s about to come online.

“The opportunity that this presents to the coastal communities that have been economically ravaged by mismanagement, misguided government regulation and the collapse in the industries that support them – is enormous.”