Seaweed Farming May Be the Prescription for Troubled Waters

Posted 2016-01-14

By Sarah Brown / National Geographic Online

“But kelp farmers are doing a brisk business and the nascent industry holds the promise of filling the economic holes left by these collapsing fisheries. At Ocean Approved’s four-acre sugar kelp farm off the coast of Falmouth, Arnold installs a specially-designed pH and CO2 sensor. ‘As these beautiful deep green fronds mature to 14 to 20 feet, we expect CO2 and pH levels to drop, essentially creating a micro-climate of ocean healing while producing a healthy and profitable crop,’ explains Arnold.

While Arnold installs the sensor, kelp farmer Paul Dobbins checks on the sugar kelps’ growth. Ripping off a few glistening fronds, straight from the ocean, they are entirely edible and—surprisingly— not overly salty. ‘You just got your monthly dose of iodine in that one bite, and vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too,’ Dobbins tells me.”