FALMUT, Maine (AP) – Maine algae farmers are in the spring harvest, which will almost certainly break state records.
The American algae farming industry is mainly based in Maine, where the business has grown rapidly over the past few years. Atlantic Sea Farms, Saco, which works with two dozen algae farmers, said it was likely to collect more than ,000 800,000 (360,000 kilograms) this year.
Atlantic marine economies account for most of the state’s algae production, with a harvest of about 450,000 pounds (204,000 kilograms) by 2020. That was a record at the time, as in 2019 the entire state had 275,000 pounds (125,000 kilograms) of marine resources statistics show.
Industry members say algae yields have increased during the coronavirus epidemic due to increased demand for healthy food. Algae are called a healthy food by the diet, in part because they are high in fiber.
“We are looking at 800,000-850,000 pounds of cabbage.” That’s a lot, “said Sei Baines, marketing director at Atlantic Seafarms. “Sometimes we shake our heads and say, ‘This is a lot.’
Algae farmers who work with Atlantic Seafarms grow their crops off the coast of Maine և they usually bring them ashore in the spring months.
Seaweed is turned into a product that is sold in health food stores, supermarkets, seafood counters and restaurants. The products range from algae cubes to algae salads.
The industry is limited by the lack of recycling capacity, says Tolfe Olsson, former chairman of the Molein Algae Council and an industry consultant. This year, a huge spring harvest could actually bring in production reserves, he said.
Olson said he is working on seaweed, which can be harvested at different times of the year to avoid overloading processors. In the meantime, however, this year’s big harvest is encouraging, he said.
“I work really hard to get algae out all year round,” Olson said. “It was one of the traffic jams of production. “Everything comes at once.”
Maine is a wild crop of rose hips. It is a type of seaweed used in animal feed and fertilizers. Wild harvests typically produce 14 to 20 million pounds (6 million 350 million to 9 million kilograms) of herbs a year.