Appeal Could Limit Rockweed Harvest in Maine
December 14, 2017
The Mount Desert Islander reports that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will consider an appeal from a Washington County Superior Court decision that could severely limit rockweed harvesting in Maine waters.
In 2015, the owners of several parcels of oceanfront property sued to stop a Canadian company, Acadian Seaplants Ltd., from harvesting rockweed (a marine aquatic algae) from the intertidal zone that borders their land. Rockweed is often sold as health food, nutritional supplements for humans and pets, fertilizer, agricultural products and packing material for lobsters. It’s also used as a stabilizer in food and cosmetics.
The landowners claim that rockweed, like trees and other terrestrial plants growing on their property, belongs to them. Acadian has countered that rockweed, an algae, belongs to the state, as do clams, mussels, worms and periwinkles and other organisms, and like them, it can harvested without permission.