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Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming
Seaweed farming is on the rise in Maine, according to a feature in Civil Eats. With 3,000 miles of coastline, much of it protected, the state offers a good location, and the kelp-growing season dovetails with the lobstering season to provide opportunity for year-round employment and income. Organizations and institutions in the region are investing in research and training for seaweed production. Also, consumer demand for the product is growing as people realize how healthy and versatile seaweed is as a food. Different types of seaweed are grown using different farming methods, but most common in Maine is production of sugar kelp using wild spores to grow seedlings on strings. The strings are attached to ropes below the ocean's surface, and the leaf-like blades grow downward until harvest. Several companies have already entered the seaweed-production market in Maine, with more expected in the near future.