Recently a prototype seaweed harvesting machine was tested off the coast of Den Haag, 50km southwest of Amsterdam, by the Noordzee Boerderij (North Sea Farm). The seaweed was “sown” last Autumn, by seeding synthetic rope. This rope was placed in lines in the sea and supported at intervals by buoys. The prototype harvester consisted of guiding rollers and a rotary cutter with cutting height adjustment. The main design requirements were to develop a lightweight, inexpensive, compact machine, which could harvest seaweed from the seaweed lines. Many of the smaller seaweed farms use relatively small work boats, and a lightweight, compact machine would be most suitable for use on such boats. In the future it is possible seaweed lines of up to kilometers in length will be sown and harvested. The lessons learned from the testing of this and similar machines could lead to large scale farming and harvesting of millions of tonnes of seaweed worldwide annually.
More information about the machine is shown at the following link: Prototype Seaweed Harvester