Professor consults on Alaska’s developing commercial seaweed industry

Mike Stekoll at the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center on Near Island. (Photo by Kayla Desroches / KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The federal government is investing in Alaska’s growing seaweed farming industry.

According to an Alaska Sea Grant press release, the U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded the University of Alaska Fairbanks a half million dollars in funding for research.

Mike Stekoll, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Alaska Southeast, is heading up the project. As stated in the release, the money will go toward improving commercial growth and harvest.

Last year Stekoll also began work on a Sea Grant funded project to pinpoint a more affordable and effective method of commercial harvest for Alaska kelp farmers.

Stekoll was in Kodiak this week to check in one of the project partners, Blue Evolution, which turns seaweed into pasta products. Their Alaska operations are currently growing seaweed in a lab to be outplanted in sites in Kodiak and Ketchikan.

KMXT stopped by the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center on Near Island to speak with Stekoll.

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