Sea Grant: California Company Nurtures Interest in Seaweed Aquaculture

California Company Nurtures Interest in Seaweed Aquaculture
Author: Caitlin Coomber
July 01, 2019



"Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by California Sea Grant.

Besides providing a local and sustainable source of food, researchers and aquaculture producers are exploring how seaweed production may benefit its surrounding environment.

“We were interested in how seaweed can help moderate the acidity of the water that it is grown in and how it can be used as a nutrient absorption tool,” said project leader Catherine O’Hare. She co-founded the Salt Point Seaweed Company which makes culinary products from wild harvested seaweed from the north coast of California. Along with co-founders Tessa Emmer and Avery Resor, the woman-owned company is conducting seaweed cultivation research in California.

The team currently gather nori, kombu, and wakame seaweeds by hand in northern Mendocino County, but are conscious of potential ecological impacts if they were to grow their operation says O’Hare. She says their long-term vision is to create food products sourced solely from farmed seaweed."

Catherine O'Hare, Avery Resor, and Tessa Emmer of Salt Point Seaweed Company hop in the water to check their seaweed bundles on a long line at Hog Island Oyster Farm. Credit: Shaun Wolfe (left), Gary Fleenor (right)