STUDIES involving the seaweed of the south-west are set to be recognised in a German television documentary, centring around the attractions of the Great Ocean Road.
The documentary, which is being filmed by German film company Parnass Film, is expected to air on German television station Arte this year in three 45-minute segments.
In a credit to her studies on the edibility of seaweed, Deakin University’s Dr Alecia Bellgrove will feature in the documentary.
While not yet a common part of Australian nutrition and diet, Dr Bellgrove said seaweed had the potential to fight illnesses plaguing the nation.
“There’s actually been an indication that eating seaweed can help to reduce things such as obesity and (type 2) diabetes,” she told The Standard.
“The first step is to see if they taste good and suit the Australian palate and that is looking very positive.
“I think there is real potential to create an industry that is ecologically and financially stable for this region.”
She said Parnass Film contacted her upon hearing of her studies, as the Great Ocean Road and the southernmost parts of Australia are a global hotspot for seaweed diversity.
“I believe it (the documentary) will be broadcast in German and French at the same time,” she said.
The documentary is set to air as tourist numbers from Germany enjoy steady growth in south-west Victoria, with about 146,600 Germans visiting Australian shores last year.
There has been an 18.4 per cent growth in German visitors since 2005.