Seaweed surrounds the rocks and shore frontage in Maine. I can remember when we did not consider seaweed as a useful plant unless some folks banked garden plots or used it for lobster bakes. Now seaweed has been discovered to be a very nutritious plant, something good for your skin, your gardens, included in food products and medicines. They are part of the underwater forest and support many ecosystems. Another complicated piece of the habitat. So is the harvest of rockweed sustainable?
I didn’t pay much attention to the trucks that I saw filling their beds up at the head of Henry’s Cove . I did however pay attention to the textures and colors, shapes and habitats of various seaweeds and how interesting I thought this might be in an art form.
During this research to find out more about seaweed I happened upon some interesting information. The information came from a few different sources and seemed to offer different opinions about the sustainability of this natural resource.
I discovered that Maine Fisheries Council has a set of rules and regulations that also accompany licensing if someone harvests more then 50lb of the product. Folks are required to take rockweed above the holdfast which includes approximately the roots and the first 16″. Various products can be reharvested in a season and others should be harvested only once a year. There is a lot more to learn and I will continue to explore this subject through the creation of art. Seaweed is definitely a beautiful resource that we all can enjoy as long as there is responsible harvesting methods.