Reel Action Newsletter #2: Seaweed Superpowers
Updated: Sep 21
Through social screenings, community feasts and local collaboration, 99p Films has showcased the ecological significance of seaweed and how we can take action to encourage a deeper integration of seaweed into our lives. This infographic aims to act as a source of reference and information and provide action points for those curious in implementing climate solutions into their daily lives.
What is Seaweed?
Seaweeds are marine plants also known as algae. They are found in the marine environment and have specialized parts that allow for photosynthesis.
Seaweeds can photosynthesize in all of their tissues. Most land plants photosynthesize only in their leaves. Seaweeds also absorb water and nutrients in all of their tissues.
Seaweeds can reproduce by simply breaking apart, releasing eggs and sperm, or releasing spores. Land plants typically reproduce by spreading their seeds.
Micro and macroalgae underpin the food chain, providing an essential source of food for molluscs, young fish and crustaceans. Seaweeds also provide an important habitat. Species such as kelps can form vast forests, offering shelter for many species to spawn and providing nursery grounds for juveniles.
As shown in the film KELP!, seaweed farming in the UK is expanding. Cultivating macroalgae has many benefits: it can help people access a new resource of delicious, highly nutritious food, it can regenerate coastal and island communities and even be used in sustainable bioplastics manufacturing.
Seaweed farming has important ecological significance beyond its commercial applications too. By sequestering carbon, improving water quality, and providing habitat, seaweed farming can help to promote a healthier marine environment and mitigate some of the impacts of climate change.
Britain’s seas contain 6% of global seaweeds, with over 600 native species. From microscopic phytoplankton to forests of kelp, seaweed is a valuable food source for other wildlife - including us. Above are three common edible species. Book a foraging workshop at www.theseaweedinstitute.com or purchase edible seaweed from www.cornishseaweed.co.uk.
Credit goes to Jack Cowley for this brilliant piece, they can be found at www.jackcowley.co.uk.
Until next time,
The 99p Films Team