Rockweed, Photo/New England Boating

Rockweed, Photo/New England Boating Rockweed is one of [Maine’s] most valuable marine resources, worth about $20 million a year. But the harvesting of it has become contentious, as businesses clash with critics who say stripping away the sea grass destroys the habitat of scores of marine animals, including periwinkles and fish such as rock gunnel and juvenile pollock.

Beyond the environmental arguments, there is debate about who actually owns the kelp, which clings to rocks in intertidal zones, areas that are submerged at high tide but exposed when the water ebbs.

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