Kelp Farmers Get a Big Suprise

Since the first pilot projects explored the idea of growing sugar kelp in Long Island waters in 2017, there has been an explosion of interest in this crop, a gourmet food whose uses are just beginning to be explored here.

This past winter, aquaculturists and marine scientists from Stony Brook University teamed up to see if they could grow sugar kelp in Long Island’s shallow south shore estuaries.

The results have been astounding, and could signify a breakthrough that could unlock a wealth of economic and environmental opportunities, say the researchers.

A collaborative team including marine scientists at Stony Brook University, 3D ocean farming innovators at the non-profit organization GreenWave, local seafood industry pioneers Dock to Dish and Haskell Seafood, and several Long Island oyster farmers, have teamed up on a grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute to bring this crop to Long Island. 

The team deployed commercial-style lines of kelp on oyster farms in three Long Island estuaries, including Great Gun Oyster Farm in Moriches Bay, East End Oysters in the Long Island Sound, and a Town of Islip aquaculture lease in the Great South Bay.

In just three months, kelp blades have grown to over four feet at the Moriches Bay site, outpacing every known kelp farm in New York and Connecticut. Read more at the link below