Seminar 5 Day 4 – Hawai‘i
Day 4 started out with a relaxed feeling…must’ve been due to the wonderful accommodations (made possible by Brandi’s sister!) which allowed us to fall asleep and wake to the sound of the ocean.
After a little morning coffee we caravanned to our last site for this seminar, Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park on the grounds of NELHA, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. We started off our tour at Cyanotech with co-founder Dr. Gerry Cysewski. Cyanotech is the largest producer of microalgae in the state. With 90 acres they are producing crop every 7 days for the human supplement industry. Cyanotech focuses on growing two types of micro algae, Spirulina, and Haematococcus, which produces astaxanthin. Hawaii’s natural environment makes it ideal for growing algae crops, and this area receives more sunlight than any other coastal location in the United States!
Spirulina ponds-because spirulina prefers to grow in an environment with a pH of 10 there is no contamination possible; nothing else will tolerate the same conditions!
Astaxanthin is extracted from Haematococcus algae. When the Haematococcus is stressed it accumulates the powerful anti-oxidant Astaxanthin in it’s cells.
After a brief tour of the lab we moved on to Blue Ocean Mariculture, where Jennica is Research Manager! She gave us an in depth tour starting with an overview in her air conditioned office (the only air conditioned location we were in all day!). Next we were lucky enough to see a newly hatched kahala (kampachi) larvae…there’s Jennica setting up the scope for us–in her element!!