As demand for resources grow, the ocean may offer opportunities with fewer impacts than on land, so long as sustainable practices are ensured. Seaweed provides one such sustainable source for biofuels and other products, and with added bioremediation effects.
"Seaweed biofuels (...) could skirt the competition for land between food and fuel crops, and seaweed does not have the difficult-to-digest lignin that makes woody land plants tough to convert into fuels. As a result, some are looking to expand the ancient industry of seaweed cultivation. While fuel applications are still a ways off — Pål Bakken, CEO of Seaweed Energy Solutions based in Trondheim, Norway, projects large-scale fuel production by 2020 — production of higher value chemicals such as bioplastic components or growing seaweed to soak up excess nutrients from contaminated waters could come sooner."
"Seaweed Energy Solutions is developing rigs that can grow seaweed offshore, hatcheries, and breeding programs to select the optimal strains for fuel production."
Link to article: http://ensia.com/articles/tapping-oceans-bounty/