The regeneration of Australia’s food and farming systems
A close up of a person's hands holding some seaweed. They are wearing a wetsuit.
Two people dressed in black at the beach looking directly at the camera.
A close up of a person's hands holding some seaweed. They are wearing a wetsuit.
Two people dressed in black at the beach looking directly at the camera.
19 March 2023
19 March 2023

Building pathways to Indigenous-led regenerative ocean farming in South Australia

Grant Amount: $30,000

Region: Kaurna Sea Country, South Australia

Delivered by: Moonrise Seaweed Co.

Year funded: 2022

Project status: Complete

The Challenge

Regenerative ocean farming and seaforestation have massive potential to draw down carbon, rebuild marine biodiversity and reduce ocean acidification.

At present it's exceedingly difficult for small (family-sized) producers to enter the seaweed/aquaculture industry, due to complex and ever-changing regulatory requirements, high startup costs, an underdeveloped market and a lack of open-source knowledge.

The Innovation

Moonrise Seaweed Co. is a family business on a mission to regeneratively farm native seaweeds. They live and work on beautiful Kaurna yarta. The organisation is 50% First Nations owned and well on their way to developing an innovative, community-scaled, culturally informed and climate-friendly ocean farm.

Sustainable Table enabled Moonrise Seaweed Co. to design and implement a pilot regenerative seaweed farm. They engaged with First Nations elders and community to prioritise cultural protocols and Sea Country custodianship. Moonrise Seaweed Co. are using the skills and knowledge they gained to create meaningful pathways for First Nations and other small operators into the industry.

The project’s key objectives were:

  • Bring the wider coastal community on board for regenerative sea farming in metro waters, with a special focus on guidance from First Nations on how to design & execute a project that foregrounds Caring for Sea Country.
  • Successfully build a demo seaweed farm on Kaurna Sea Country where Moonrise Seaweed Co. can demonstrate a financially viable, ecologically restorative method by which small operators can farm seaweed.
  • Shape the future of the seaweed industry in South Australia to create clear pathways for small mission-driven operators and First Nations people.

Why did Sustainable Table fund this project?

Moonrise Seaweed Co. is stepping into the arena with deep values around ocean ecology, democratising the playing field for small family and community operators and ensuring First Nations ownership, leadership and collaboration. They have a fantastic team of partners around this project and are driven by a larger vision to use the demonstration farm as a template to seed and guide the development of other initiatives across Australia.

What were the outcomes of this project?

This project has been completed and we will share more of the outcomes soon.

To help us support more projects like this and regenerate Australian food and farming, please consider donating today.