Risks to Maine's Seaweed Commons

Wild harvest:

  • Overproduction without adequate processing infrastructure could lead to price declines.
  • Privatization of the commons for foreign or out of state interests.

Deer Isle, ME Landscape

Cultivation:

  • Offshore biofuels kelp farms displacing culinary markets for inland producers
  • Simplistic ‘young farmer of the sea’ narrative, which promotes farming of seaweed in intertidal zone as a “win win” without quite enough detail. While the Greenhorns actively encourages young folks to engage with their land and food systems, we remain cautious of aquaculture systems that lack ecological contextualization and commons-based stewardship. We suggest that young greenhorns refer to our education page.
  • Disease outbreaks
  • Water pollution
  • Dependence on non-native inputs
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