Canada’s Ocean Supercluster $1.6M AI-Driven Sensors for Seaweed Measurement Project

Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the AI-Driven Sensors for Seaweed Measurement Project. This project is a collaboration between ocean monitoring company Coastal Carbon, Kitchener, Ontario, and the seaweed farming company, HoldFast, St. John’s, NL, to develop a small, non-intrusive, AI-enabled sensor for online remote biomass monitoring of seaweed growth. This project will have significant benefits for the greater seaweed farming community in Canada.

This project will directly support the Canadian seaweed aquaculture at large. The sensors designed by this project will form the foundation for further leveraging AI for ocean biomass measurement. Beyond the project consortium, access to high quality inexpensive biomass monitoring has the potential to positively impact all Canadian seaweed farmers. Farmers in remote or small communities with limited measurement ability and resource constraints are positioned to see the most economic benefit. Many of these farmers and communities are Indigenous, and this low-cost, minimally intrusive monitoring offers a pathway for Indigenous-led knowledge and understanding of their own seaweed sites.

As part of the funding allocated to the OSC through the Pan Canadian AI Strategy (PCAIS) Program, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster has committed $485,000 to the almost $1.6 million AI-Driven Sensor for Seaweed Measurement Project, with the balance of funding coming from project partners.

Both project participants, Coastal Carbon and HoldFast NL, are dynamic startups at the forefront of innovation in Canada’s ocean sector. Coastal Carbon is dedicated to the remote monitoring and measurement of ocean biomass, facilitating regenerative seaweed farming, ocean restoration, and the scaling of blue carbon initiatives. In parallel, HoldFast NL is committed to revitalizing Canada’s east coast through regenerative seaweed farming. As this project reaches its conclusion, it will not only yield crucial strategic and technological advancements for these participants but also position them favorably to secure private investment, thereby fostering growth and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the ocean industry.


“Through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Government of Canada is pleased to support Canada’s Ocean Cluster as it drives AI solutions for Canadian ocean companies. Through this biomass monitoring project, one of nine projects announced today by OSC, seaweed farmers will be able to optimize their capital deployment, enhance harvest planning, and ultimately scale their operations more effectively.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“AI in ocean has the potential to help transform the way we do ocean business. Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the AI-Driven Sensors for Seaweed Measurement Project which will use sensors and AI to advance biomass measure measurement in a way that provides an inexpensive solution for seaweed farmers in Canada.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 85 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster