We’re already a month-plus into spring and in Maine, spring isn’t just about April showers (rain or snow) or May flowers: it also marks the start of the state’s seaweed harvest. According to the Associated Press, Maine is the spot for the United State’s seaweed farming industry, and this year already looks like one for the record books.
Atlantic Sea Farms, which works with more than two dozen seaweed farmers, told the outlet that it expects this year’s briny crop to tip the scales at more than 800,000 pounds, which almost doubles last year’s harvest of 450,000 pounds—a state record at the time.
Over the past several years, Maine has moved from collecting wild seaweed to farmed varieties, and the annual harvests keep getting bigger. In 2018, the total haul of farmed seaweed was around 54,000 pounds, then grew to 280,000 pounds in 2019. A projection from the Island Institute suggests that the annual take could top more than 3 million pounds by 2035.