"How the emergence of kelp is capturing carbon, fertilizing fields and tickling the fancy of North Fork chefs"

Charity Robey, The Northforker - 02/25/2022

MATURE KELP BEING RAISED FROM THE PECONIC BAY. (CREDIT: THE SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO)

Long Island chefs are starting to seek out sources for local kelp, and nearby oyster farmers see this as a way to diversify their crop, especially with kelp harvest aligning with the off-season for oysters. Charity Robey talks to chef and author Will Horowitz, aquaculture farmers, and scientists about what a growing Long Island kelp industry could look like, including farmers' takes on the regulations to come. 

PHOTOS FROM NORTHFORKERS

 

 

From the article:

I’ve had countless chefs, very eager to purchase kelp and also interest from wineries that want to use it on their crops as a fertilizer,” [Paul McCormick] said. “I could see the restaurants out here creating a one-month kelp season and generating enormous interest.” 

Kelp will play an important role in developing aquaculture by allowing farmers to diversify their crops and extend their markets, making their businesses much more resilient in times of crisis[...] According to Schott, the DEC and Suffolk County still have a lot of work to do writing regulatory guidelines for processing and selling kelp, but if all goes well, New York farmers will harvest a commercial crop in 2023

 

 

WHOI's weekly "Ocean Encounters" recently featured the future of kelp farming in food systems, animal feeds, fuels, and other innovations for a changing climate. Hosted by Veronique LaCapra, the "Seaweed Solutions" panel included an aquaculture scientist, kelp farmer, and TNC policy advocate.

You can watch the recording of "Seaweed Solutions" here.

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