Washington Seaweed Learning Tour

This past September I had the exciting opportunity to organize and attend a Seaweed Learning Tour in Washington State. Thus far, my fellowship has predominantly been desktop research to develop a situation analysis that explores challenges and opportunities for Oregon’s seaweed aquaculture industry. While the research has been interesting and I’ve learned quite a bit, I was thrilled to get out on the water and see a seaweed and shellfish farm in person.

Our outing began at a dock in Poulsbo, Washington to board a boat and head over to Blue Dot Sea Farm’s site. With rare blue skies and sunshine we were super grateful for the weather.

Photo 1: Clear blue and skies and Blue Dot Sea Farm upon arrival to the site.

Currently in the State of Washington, Blue Dot Sea Farms is the only permitted open-water seaweed aquaculture farm, although there are several other farms that are in varying stages of the permit process. While it wasn’t grow out season for kelp we did still get to see some seaweed that was still in the water for experimental purposes. We also got to learn more about their cultivation process for Pacific oysters, their main crop.

Once back on shore, the team was gifted Blue Dot Kitchen’s Seacharrones – a tasty seaweed chip! I was particularly excited to note yet another seaweed gift for friends and family. Blue Dot Kitchen uses kelp from their own farm for the chips and also purchases seaweed from farms in Alaska and Maine because their farm doesn’t produce enough kelp for the scale of production the Kitchen is aiming for. The Kitchen is very interested in purchasing more locally for their product and we were excited to hear of another potential market for prospective seaweed growers in Oregon.

Photo 3: Seacharrones kelp puff snack. The chips/puffs are made from dried kelp powder.

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One thought on “Washington Seaweed Learning Tour

  1. Thanks for this update, Megan! Very exciting that you were able to get out on the water for a site visit and on such a sunny day! I didnt realize that there was a limited growing season for seaweed. Based on your research and your experiences as a fellow, what would you say is the biggest barrier to seaweed production in OR and WA; and do you know what the main constraint is on Blue Dot’s production capacity?

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