A Gouldsboro organic seaweed aquaculture firm is hoping to lease a site in Frenchman Bay that could help to significantly boost its output.
Springtide Seaweed, a company founded in 2017, already operates a 35-acre cultivation site in the bay, off Preble Island in Sorrento. If it is granted a lease for a 20-acre site off Stave Island, it could triple the annual output of its finished, dry product to 75,000 pounds, according to company officials.
The company has applied to the Maine Department of Marine Resources for a 10-year lease for a site west of Stave Island. On Tuesday, a public hearing on the application was held at the town office in Gouldsboro. None of the half dozen members of the public who attended the half-hour hearing raised any objections to the proposal.
The state is expected to make a decision on the lease application within 120 days, according to DMR’s Flora Drury.
Springtide Seaweed grows mainly kelp but also is developing products from dulse and nori seaweed varieties, according to Sarah Redmond, founder of the company. The firm converts the kelp into different products at its processing site in the village of South Gouldsboro, which the company just moved into last year. Among its products are powders that can be used as culinary seasonings and salt substitutes.
Redmond, a longtime associate with the federal Sea Grant program, said Tuesday that she has been involved in seaweed aquaculture since 2010 and continues to develop methods for seaweed cultivation at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin.
“I want kelp on every table in America,” she said. “It is nature’s true healthy salt.”
A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....
More by Bill Trotter