R-06-03 Integrated mariculture with Porphyra (“nori”) to achieve sustainable aquaculture and new food products

Susan Brawley
School of Marine Sciences

University of Maine
Orono , ME 04469

Growing sea vegetables (marine macroalgae, seaweed) in concert with finfish aquaculture can mitigate nutrient overenrichment that can occur near fish farms. Sea vegetables benefit from polyculture with finfish because they need the nutrients released by farms in the form of uneaten food and excreted waste. Susan Brawley and graduate student Nic Blouin examined methods for growing native Maine seaweeds, Porphrya spp. (also known as nori) in partnership with Cooke Aquaculture’s facilities in Cobscook Bay.

Porphyra mariculture would be more economical if seeding nets with the appropriate form of seaweed could be controlled easily. Through molecular investigations of the life history of Porphyra, Brawley and Blouin improved culture technology and reduced generation times for the macroalgae. The specific haplotype they analyzed was deposited in two public culture collections in Maine and Texas for use by other scientists. The researchers hope their work will advance development of sea vegetable products for U.S. and European markets.

2-year project, 2006-2008

2-year project: 2003-2005
Total: $158,800

Related publications

Blouin, N., Xiugeng, F., Peng, J., Yarish, C. and Brawley, S.H. 2007. Seeding nets with neutral spores of the red alga Porphyra umbilicalis (L.) Kützing for use in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). Aquaculture 270: 77-91.

Blouin, N., Calder, B.L., Perkins, B., and Brawley, S.H. 2006. Sensory and fatty acid analyses of two Atlantic species of Porphyra (Rhodophyta). Journal of Applied Phycology 18:79-85.