Maine Sea Grant College Program
Globally, seaweeds represent an $8 billion industry, which presents several opportunities to fishermen and sea farmers in Maine’s coastal environment, especially given the continued restrictions in several major state and federal fisheries. With support from her partners and other Marine Extension Team (MET) members, Sarah Redmond is leading the effort to bring local sea vegetables to market through research, education, and outreach. New nursery cultivation techniques for native species are under development with Sea Grant support, and funding from the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center provided for transfer of seaweed cultivation technology to industry. In 2014, Sea Grant provided approximately 5,600 feet of seeded lines to 9 sea farmers, 1 educational facility, and 1 aquaculture researcher for trial on their farms. Restaurants, food trucks, and chefs are experimenting with wild and cultured seaweeds, and consumers are learning about the ecology, variety, and benefits through outreach and education. Support from Sea Grant enabled 6 new sea farms to be established in 2014, and has led to the development of new options for sea farmers and new products at Maine businesses, including a kelp beer, seaweed ice cream, and seaweed bagels. Sea Grant supported the first ever Maine Seaweed Festival, which brought together seaweed producers from the wild harvest and aquaculture industries, businesses, food trucks, chefs, educators, students, consumers, and families to celebrate and learn about Maine’s seaweeds.
Maine Sea Grant, "Maine Sea Grant Annual Report 2014" (2014). Maine Sea Grant Publications. 110.
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