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Lobster Conservancy to host meeting

Posted July 02, 2012, at 4:13 p.m.
Last modified July 02, 2012, at 5:53 p.m.

FRIENDSHIP, Maine — The Lobster Conservancy will host an information session on rockweed harvesting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at the Friendship Town Office.

“Many shoreline property owners have come to me with concerns about rockweed cutters taking seaweed from their land,” said The Lobster Conservancy Executive Director Diane Cowan. “I tried my best to explain the situation and my concerns about removing rockweed, then decided to call in an expert.”

Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley of Shoals Marine Laboratory at Cornell University and the Rockweed Coalition will give a brief presentation that includes a documentary film on the underwater rockweed forest, and will answer questions.

There is no scientific information on ecologically-sustainable levels of rockweed cutting. Rockweed forms an underwater seaweed forest up to 400 years old and provides ecological services for over 150 species of birds, fish and invertebrates, including lobster. Although there is no clear public right to cut rockweed on privately owned shoreline in Maine, in 2011 approximately 15 million pounds of Maine rockweed were cut and transported to factories in Maine and Canada to produce and sell fertilizer and agricultural supplements.

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The Lobster Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1996 with a mission of sustaining a thriving lobster fishery through science and community. It is based in Friendship, Maine. To learn more about The Lobster Conservancy, visit the website at www.lobsters.org.

The Rockweed Coalition, based in Dennysville, Maine, is a group of citizens, scientists and fishermen working to protect and conserve marine intertidal habitat by working to restrict the commercial cutting of rockweed unless sound science demonstrates that removing rockweed does not harm coastal ecosystems. To learn more about The Rockweed Coalition, visit the website at www.rockweedcoalition.org.

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