Coastal Conversations 8/23/19: Rockweed Economy and Ecology

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Ascophyllum Nodosum, more commonly known as rockweed, is that ubiquitous brown seaweed that coats much of the shoreline between high and low tide. Rockweed has been commercially harvested in Maine for decades and it is an important part of a healthy intertidal ecosystem. Recently, the Maine Supreme Judicial court ruled that rockweed, unlike clams and other species that grow along Maine’s shore, is the property of the upland landowner.

What is rockweed and what role does it play in a healthy intertidal ecosystem?
What is the history of the rockweed harvesting in Maine and how is it harvested?
What was the recent court ruling about?

Hannah Mittelstaedt, graduate student, invertebrate ecology, University of Maine
Greg Tobey, General Manager, Source Micronutrients
Bonnie Tobey, Operations Manager, Source Micronutrients
Jaclyn Robidoux, Marine Extension Associate, Maine Sea Grant
George Seaver, VP of Ocean Organics