News - August 22, 2011

Edible seaweed has Kader Abdolah's attention

Seaweed as a solution to the food crisis. In search of ideas, Iranian-Dutch writer Kader Abdolah spoke to aquatic researcher Ronald Osinga last week about the latter's idea to take agriculture to the sea.

Why did Kader Abdolah want to speak to you?
'Abdolah is working on a new book in which he portrays people with ideas which can possibly change the world. It is a book which would radiate enthusiasm and inspiration.'
What idea do you have?
'In a nutshell: a transition from land agriculture to marine agriculture. We do have the space for that and - what's more important - growing food in the sea can solve environmental problems instead of create them.'
How's that?
'Seaweed fields can get their nourishment from fertilizers in rivers which now empty their contents into the sea.'
Did you get along well with Kader?
'Yes, we had a very pleasant conversation. Abdolah is a neat and erudite man. He entered holding an umbrella in his hand, like an English gentleman. Afterwards, I also showed him our lab with seaweeds and corals. He has gone to Zeeland today to take a look at our marine farm. He finds all these extremely interesting.' 
Is this community interest for science important?
'Of course. New ideas are made or broken by the scope created to contain them. Attention from someone of his calibre is therefore of enormous value.'
 Will your idea change the world?
'I don't know yet. The future will decide if I would be placed in the gallery of visionaries or that for fools.'
Want to know more about the marine farm? Go to: