DV-14-16 Establishing educational kelp aquaculture at UMaine Machias and the Downeast Institute

Jeremy C. Nettleton
Assistant Professor of Marine Biology
University of Maine at Machias

Aquaculture, specifically kelp culture, will be studied in this project as a possible way to address declines in the Downeast region’s marine resource-based economy. Sugar kelp, Saccharina latissima, a highly valued edible seaweed, can be used in a variety of economically important capacities including biofuel production, bioremediation, and feed for urchin aquaculture. Due to its many uses, increasing worldwide demand will soon exceed supply of wild harvested sugar kelp. By removing excess nitrogen and replacing dissolved oxygen, sugar kelp provides important ecological services while maturing into a valuable harvestable crop. This project will include culturing native kelp species from local wild populations, and establishing seaweed culture infrastructure in an educational setting.

Sea Grant funds: $3,000