Kelp industry continues growth in Maine

News Center Maine
Posted 2024-05-16

Published by News Center Maine on April 29, 2024. 

PORTLAND, Maine — The last week of April brings about a type of harvest growing in popularity in the Gulf of Maine—kelp.

In what is arguably the most famous fishing region in the United States, kelp is a harvest Mainers are still learning. So, we joined a boat trip into Casco Bay to see kelp farming in action in an event hosted by the Island Institute and attended by elected officials and business leaders.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources lists 35 active kelp faming leases, with 13 others pending. Many of those farmers are already commercial fishermen who decided to add some income during an otherwise slow spring.

Steve Train is a Long Island lobstermen who, along with some of his peers, found kelp farming to be a seamless transition. Our charter boat pulled up near Train’s red boat and watched a crew haul, cut, and bag the glistening green kelp plants that hang in long strips, thousands per line, from ropes submerged in the Atlantic.

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