The potential benefits of introducing seaweed to the diets of cattle deserve to be seriously looked at, according to Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice.

Fitzmaurice was speaking in light of recent research showing that an addition of just 2% of dried seaweed to cows’ diets can make them healthier, more fertile and reduce methane emissions by as much as 99%.

The benefits of introducing seaweed to the diets of cattle was originally stumbled upon by a Canadian farmer approximately five years ago.

Researchers in Queensland, Australia, reportedly reaffirmed his findings as part of a study undertaken in James Cook University.

If this was proven to be the case here in Ireland, it could kick-start a new industry that would create jobs into the future, the TD for the Roscommon-Galway constituency added.

I would like to see this research being carried out here; there are huge possibilities with regard to the seaweed industry in Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine should look into this further.

“While the claims of the reduction of methane emissions are made in this research, it must be remembered that it has been shown that methane emissions with regard to agriculture are inconsequential when looked at from satellite images and in widespread research.

“Nevertheless we are an island nation with plenty of coastline and if we can develop and improve our seaweed industry it could be a big bonus for our economy – more analysis into this exciting new research must take place as soon as possible,” Fitzmaurice concluded.