Document Type



Marine Biology | Other Plant Sciences


The long-term goal of this proposed project was to promote development of a sustainable sugar kelp industry that can help revitalize working waterfronts, and increase employment and economic opportunities for seafood production, processing, and distribution services in Southern New England and New York. To achieve this goal, we have transfer cultivation techniques of Saccharina latissima (sugar kelp) from academic laboratories to commercially viable farms, introduce processing techniques, and provide templates for business plans. An additional benefit of this study are the ecosystem services afforded by sugar kelp farming. Kelp aquaculture will remove carbon and nitrogen (as well as phosphorus) from the marine ecosystem, and may be useful to restore impacted natural communities of kelp by providing a natural source of seed. This study directly addressed two of NIFA’s four program priorities: Design of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture production and Economic research for increasing aquaculture profitability. Supporting objectives to address these program priorities included 1) expanding seedstock nurseries to provide sustainable seedstock of sugar kelp to new growers; 2) transferring open water cultivation technologies to new sugar kelp growers; 3) developing a mobile seaweed processing facility for fresh and frozen products; 4) providing market analysis, a financial model, and a business plan template for sugar kelp; and 5) developing and completing educational workshops and best management practices for all existing and potential sugar kelp growers in Southern New England and New York, as well as explaining this growing industry to the general public.