Kelp Blue has received licence to commence operations in Lüderitz.
Lüderitz has the ideal conditions for cultivating macrocystis.
The kelp will benefit from the constant upwelling of the Benguela Current as well as strong and consistent hours of sunlight.
Our pilot operations are well underway.
Our engineering team continues to iterate and improve the substrate system from which the kelp is grown. Procurement of steel and other materials favoured local suppliers and anchor fabrication has been completed by Luderitz operators.
KELP LAB/HATCHERY AND NURSERY
The hatchery, where we will be propagating the kelp before it’s attached to the underwater structure, is complete and fully functional. Much time has been spent experimenting and optimising the substrates which show good attachment rates by the young kelp.
The hatchery team recently completed the installation of a water supply and filtration system. This plays an important role in ensuring a continuous healthy and conducive environment for our spores. Healthy water results in healthy kelp!
The system is hooked up to an external power generator to ensure the cultures are kept at a constant and cool temperature (even during power cuts).
When not at sea, the team is busy investigating the response of the kelp to a range of induction parameters, these results will have implications for the commercial hatchery activities and offshore cultivation.
Biodiversity increase is one of the cornerstones of our mission. We use a mix of methods, from eDNA to acoustic sensing and aerial monitoring to collect data on an ongoing basis.
Monitoring has been made much more efficient with The Whale Rider, a refurbished vessel which was sailed from Walvis Bay to Lüderitz on a voyage that took just over 30 hours.
While at sea, life vests are worn at all times. Nevertheless, ocean appreciation is greatly enhanced by being able to swim, snorkel and be comfortable in the water. All Kelp Blue staff, interns and trainees are given swimming lessons as part of our capacity development initiatives.
Throughout the year, Kelp Blue organises initiatives to involve the wider community. Most recently, we launched an Eco-Anchor design competition which targeted Lüderitz-based schools and learners.
The competition challenged learners to share their views on how they would make changes to the anchors to boost marine biodiversity. Encouraging and nurturing concept development is a vital step towards building knowledge towards a brighter future. Here we asked young and curious minds to express their interpretation of ocean science.
OUR COMMITMENT TO “THINKING SMARTER”
Because of the remote location of Luderitz we’re often forced to be creative with problem solving. We’ve quickly realised we need to make do with what nature gives us and what’s available at the time. See how we conduct our airborne monitoring and how we collect sediment from the sea floor.