With the addition of Sarah Redmond, our new marine extension associate, we are fast expanding our research and extension into seaweed aquaculture in Maine. This is exciting to me because I like to eat seaweed (especially nori and seasnacks and dulse) but some of the commonly available prepared sea vegetable products are not from Maine waters (seasnacks uses Korean seaweed). Sea vegetables are full of minerals like iodide, and are a good source of nutrition and hydration, especially during the winter when our produce landscape is rather bleak.
Sea Grant is working to increase macroalgae culture on several fronts. Dr. Ian Bricknell, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute, is studying the integration of macroalgae and shellfish with finfish farms. Sarah Redmond is setting up a seaweed nursery at the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin. And Sarah and fellow MET member Dana Morse have been all over the coast this winter seeding kelp on existing shellfish farms in Maine. Read all about their exploits in Dana’s traveling shellfish blog, and feel free to send along your seaweed-related questions.