SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Tom Roth traded fishing for farming. He’s always finding new ways to use farmed and wild seaweed.
“People get excited when they see something that’s good for them,” he said.
His latest kelp-based product: sunscreen.
“It’s all-natural. There [are] no chemicals. There’s no plastic involved. We’re really trying to be true to the environment.”
Roth also is one of the providers of edible sugar kelp in the state, the focus of a recent report from the Island Institute.
It sheds new light on what the industry means for Maine.
It claims nearly 1 million pounds of wet seaweed – both farmed and wild – is harvested off US shores each year. Over half of that comes from Maine alone.
Over the last five years, Maine’s edible seaweed harvest has exploded, an increase of more than 2,000 percent.