Seaweeds and seaweed-ingredients to reduce enteric methane emissions from pasture based sheep, cattle and dairy cows


The drive to become more efficient is viable and well in the food industry and this trend has been altered in recent years by the challenge of making our advancements more environmentally friendly. Meat and dairy production have become targets of much scrutiny and blame in the charge against global warming. By 2050, the EU aims to cut its emissions by 80-95%. Livestock are responsible for 44 % of all methane emissions and methane has 36 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Recent research in Australia demonstrated that feeding the seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis to sheep at 2% the dry weight of feed resulted in 50- 70% less methane release over a 72-day period continuously. SEASOLUTIONS will investigate the potential of native, harvested seaweeds to reduce enteric methane emissions from sheep, beef and dairy cattle. It will help to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of action of methane reduction in the rumen; effects on animal health and foods produced and the economic, economic viability of using seaweed components to reduce methane emissions.

TEAGASC - Agriculture and Food Development Authority, TEAGASC, Ireland
Maria Hayes

Project partners 
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, NIBIO, Norway
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AAFC, Canada
Department of Agricultural Sciences for Northern Sweden, SLU, Sweden 
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, FLI, Germany 
Queen's University Belfast, QUB, United Kingdom 
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, AFBI, United Kingdom
Institute of Technology Sligo, ITS, Ireland

Total requested funding 
1.969.000 €

Start-end date 
06.01.2020 - 05.01.2023

Project duration
36 months



The kick-off meeting of the SEASOLUTIONS project was held on the 5th and 6th of March 2020 at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland. Representatives from all six consortium member countries were present including Teagasc and IT Sligo (Ireland); FLI (Germany); SLU (Sweden); SINTEF and NIBIO (Norway), QUB (UK) and AAFC (Canada). Presentations were given by representatives from each group, the work plan was defined and collaboration with other countries (New Zealand and Iceland) discussed.
Seasolutions aims to develop novel, science-based and implementable approaches to reduce enteric emissions from sheep, beef and dairy cows. Seaweed preservation and characterisation, in vitro simulated rumen studies and animal scientific experiments make up the backbone of the project. These experiments will produce the data to: 1) Process description with regard to the effect of seaweeds on enteric methane emissions; 2) Assess management options with respect to enteric methane emission control.