Cascadia Seaweed Corp of British Columbia
Bloomsbury Natural Capital (BNC) has been a shareholder in Cascadia since November 2021. Cascadia was founded in January 2019 and has grown rapidly, with the team now approaching thirty people. It currently has seven farms (19 hectares in total) operating in five geographic areas plus one further large site (7 hectares) starting up this summer. It works in close partnership with First Nations. Seaweeds presently cultivated by Cascadia are sugar kelp, winged kelp, sieve kelp and Pacific dulse.
Primary processing is in the Port Alberni food hub. Cascadia has begun production of foods for human consumption (one is already in the market and more are due by mid-2022) under the ‘Kove’ brand. Partly funded by a government grant, it is also researching potential use of cold water seaweeds in cattle feed, with the aim of reducing bovine methane emissions.
Kelp absorbs excess nutrients from seawater and sequesters carbon, thus reducing ocean acidification. Seaweed cultivation also significantly increases local marine biodiversity of mammals, fish and invertebrates. Currently, Cascadia is participating in a research project using twenty-one underwater video cameras to help evaluate kelp farms as habitat for migrating salmonids and their prey.