Seaweed industry booms, despite struggles in seafood industry
Consumer demand for seafood at restaurants dropped by more than 70 percent during the early months of the pandemic. However, one sector managed to thrive and nearly doubled its harvest—the seaweed business. The harvest of farm-raised seaweed along the coast of Maine grew from nearly 50,000 pounds in 2018 to 275,000 pounds last year, according to state records. It appears the burgeoning industry was able to quickly pivot to sell more of products via retail locations than restaurants, AP reports. The seaweed is processed into products such as seaweed sauerkraut and frozen kelp cubes used for smoothies. This shift meant the harvesters avoided major setbacks that hit other seafood industries including oysters and lobster.