Farmed Sea Greens Help Offset Effects of Climate Change
Climate change Coastal Maine. The article was written by Bri, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms.
The 2019 harvest season was incredible – working with 16 partner farmers, we had (by far!) our largest harvest and processing season on record and are excited to see our products popping up on menus and retail shelves throughout the Northeast, and now making appearances in some of Southern California’s premier restaurants.
Those of you who have tried our products know that all of our kelp is healthy and delicious – but did you know that it also helps to locally remediate some of the effects of climate change off the coast of Maine? Allow me to geek out here for a minute….
The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans. In fact, over the past 15 years, the Gulf has warmed at seven times the global average. This is having a dramatic effect on our wild fisheries. Where once our coast could rely on multiple species to make a living, they are now dependent on what is, ostensibly, a lobster monoculture. This is why we work with lobster fishermen to grow kelp and create a supplemental income source in the face of an increasingly vulnerable lobster fishery.
Climate Change Coastal Maine
But warming waters aren’t the only effect of climate change on the Gulf of Maine. Humans are creating an excess of carbon dioxide – and seawater absorbs that carbon dioxide from the atmosphere wherever air meets water and, as a result, increases the acidity of our oceans. While the long-term effects of ocean acidification are still being studied, we know that the increased acidity damages and weakens shellfish.
But kelp is on the way. Kelp absorbs carbon and nitrogen. By planting seaweed farms, and then removing that kelp from the water, we are helping to locally remediate the effects of this ocean acidification. Don’t take our word for it, though. Over the past few years, we worked with our partners at Bigelow Laboratory, Island Institute, and Bangs Island Mussels to study the effects of our kelp farm on farmed mussels. The results have been promising and we’ve seen that mussels grown within the halo of our kelp farms are stronger and healthier. We are proud to be able to add “Phytoremediator” to the list of superhero attributes for our no input Virtuous Vegetable. More about this work here and here.
Now, let’s drink to your health while toasting to new ways to love and support our ocean. Go grab some kelp cubes and make this delicious Blueberry Mint Kelp Smoothie. For an adult version that goes great with any meal on a late-summer night, add some of your favorite bourbon or vodka – you can’t go wrong!
Best, Bri; CEO, Ocean Approved
Exploring Coastal Maine
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Climate Change Coastal Maine
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