Investors bet on farmed kelp being Alaska’s next seafood export

kelp_alaska-kelpresizeIn the remote waters of Larsen Bay, off the coast of Kodiak Island, an experiment is underway. Two types of kelp are strung on lines in the ocean waters, and researchers, investors and commercial fishermen are all watching to see if they grow. Erik O’Brien, a commercial fisherman, planted the kelp last month. He’s one of three Alaska kelp farmers working with a California-based company that’s investing in the project. The experiment could represent the start of a fledgling kelp farm industry in Alaska. But O’Brien isn’t sure yet whether the venture will pan out. “There’s way more questions than answers,” O’Brien said. In late October, O’Brien headed out to Larsen Bay. After six months of working through the state process, he had received his permit and planted sugar kelp and ribbon kelp on 4,600 feet of line. Read the story here 11:51