Maine Seaweed

This week’s Portland Phoenix reports on the burgeoning Maine seaweed industry.

Maine is at the forefront, in the US, of seaweed foraged wild and now cultivated. Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, headed by macrobiotic entrepreneur Shep Erhart, was the first American company to harvest and sell whole indigenous seaweeds, more than 40 years ago.

We even have a dedicated seaweed extension agent, Sarah Redmond, encouraging rope-cultured mussel farmers and lobsterman to try this counter-season winter crop. Redmond touts “integrated multi-trophic aquaculture,” where farmed shellfish feed on the waste generated by salmon farms, and cultivated kelp then filters out remaining phosphorous and nitrogen, similar to land-based polyculture farms. Maine seafood promoter Monique Coombs thinks “seaweed will get really hot” here in the next few years.