2019 Beaches Conference Concurrent 1 Rockweed in Maine Long Description

Rockweed in Maine

Rockweed (intertidal zone seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum) provides essential ecological services in near-shore ecosystems, such as habitat for juvenile cod and shorebirds. Rockweed also plays a role in Maine’s marine resource economy and working waterfront heritage, as a fisheries product harvested for use in organic agriculture products, health supplements, and foods. Stakeholders agree on the importance of sustainable resource management, but have differing approaches on how to accomplish this goal. This panel session includes diverse perspectives from landowner interests, conservation priorities, the seaweed harvest industry, and marine researchers, to address conference themes like “coastal access for multiple uses” and “harvesting from the sea: interactions with other uses”. This panel will describe landowner concerns with escalating harvest levels, harvest methods, provide insights into diverse sustainability interpretations and research efforts, and address new challenges in resource management, in light of the recent court decision on rockweed ownership. This session seeks to develop understanding of seaweed resources in the shared social ecological system of Maine’s intertidal zone.

Meagan Sims
Ken Ross
Robin Hadlock Seeley
Hannah Webber
Nichole Price
Greg Tobey
Tollef Olson

Summary by Meagan Sims