Southern Seagreens is the coming together of three friends with a shared love for the sea. By combining our skills, we realised we could work with the sun and sea and learn to farm native kelp at Flinders.
Our primary concern is to grow the most sustainable food we can. With the planet on track to host near 10 billion humans by 2050, we need to find smarter and more sustainable ways to produce nutritious food and get it to market. Seaweed requires no soil, fresh water or fertilisers. It’s a zero input crop and it's packed with protein and nutrients important for human health. It also improves the marine eco-system as it grows.
The real opportunity we see is to work with creative individuals to explore ways to incorporate kelp into our everyday diet. There are some talented local chefs using kelp and other seaweeds in inspiring ways, and with ideal growing conditions here in Victoria, we think kelp might soon play an important role in our local food system.
We were lucky enough to be awarded Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Climate Action Grant last year and this has enabled us to establish a kelp nursery on the Mornington Peninsula. We’re now able to seed juvenile kelp onto twine that we can then take to our aquaculture site off Flinders to grow to maturity. We also dive for Wakame (an introduced but high quality kelp) in local waters that we are turning into nutritious food products. Removing Wakame aids the regeneration of native kelp populations that have been impacted by rising sea temperatures and invasive sea urchins in recent times.
We thank the Mornington Peninsula Shire and Vic Fisheries for their support in helping us play a small part in a bigger movement to do better by the planet.
Bert (birth certificate reads Brent) left school to become a naval clearance diver, undertaking many daunting tasks in the depths of the ocean. Then moved to the Peninsula and started a commercial dive company called Aegir Divers. He started dreaming of seaweed after watching 2040 at the local cinema. Bert surfs a lot and runs our sea farm at Flinders.
Cam grew up in Shoreham sailing very small boats on the fringes of Bass Strait. Had an average time at an uptight school but broke out and found good beer while backpacking in Canada. Returned to Melbourne and started a craft brewery (Mountain Goat) with his mate Dave. Exited after 18 years, hydrated and got reading about the regenerative powers of seaweed. Cam's mad for Wakame hunting and runs the day to day land operations.
Rob grew up in Gippsland (surfing with Bert) before embarking on a rather impressive academic journey. Armed with a degree in plant genetics wizardry and a PhD in Bio-inspired Solar, he became captain of Engineering and Sustainability at Monash. Now has a net zero consultancy called Node and runs our lab and nursery.