Apr 11, 2023 | 11:30AM - 12:30PM | PST | Online

Kelp Farming: Promises, Pitfalls, and What We Still Don’t Know

Photo credit:

Graphic notes by Romney McPhie, Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific

Can kelp farming make the world a better place? Around the globe, seaweed aquaculture is booming, with everyone from government officials to Jeff Bezos jumping on board. The industry is taking off on the west coast of North America, where plans for new kelp farms are popping up everywhere. Advocates tout seaweed farming as a solution to hunger, poverty, greenhouse gas emissions, and the degradation of ocean ecosystems. But so far, evidence is thin. Many questions remain.

Join Rebecca Martone, marine ecologist and executive director of the Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific, and expert panelists for an engaging discussion on kelp farming, its promises and pitfalls. They’ll cover what we know about the potential environmental and social impacts of seaweed aquaculture—including creating fish habitat, combating climate change, and generating revenue for coastal communities—as well as what’s still unknown.

If you’ve heard the buzz about kelp farming but aren’t clear on the details, this event is for you.

Webinar Recording:

Webinar Resources

Expert panel:

Dr. Jennifer Clark is a phycologist and the chief science officer at Cascadia Seaweed, the largest kelp cultivator in Canada. There, she oversees research and development on seaweed cultivation and ecosystem services, as well as the production of kelp in seven ocean farms for agricultural purposes.

Dune Lankard is an Eyak Athabaskan fisher, activist, and founding president of Native Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that empowers Alaska Native peoples to preserve endangered habitats and cultural lifeways on their ancestral homelands through initiatives such as kelp farming.

Dr. Nichole Price is a marine ecologist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine, where she studies the eco-physiology of seaweeds, how they cycle carbon and nutrients in the ocean, and their potential role in mitigating coastal acidification and climate change.

Date: April 11, 2023, 11:30-12:30 PDT
Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific and Hakai Magazine

At 12:30 pm PT, after the conclusion of the panel, we invited Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) to stay online to discuss, debrief, and exchange ideas in a focused session with the speakers. An Early Career Ocean Professional self-identifies as being early in their career in any field related to the ocean, including undergraduate or graduate education or in the workforce. This portion of the event was co-hosted by ECOP Canada.

Ready to dive in? There’s a place for everyone in the Ocean Decade—stay connected to help ensure a thriving, resilient, sustainable and productive Northeast Pacific Ocean. Sign up for our newsletter.