Kelp Farming: Promises, Pitfalls, and What We Still Don’t Know

Actions Panel

Kelp Farming: Promises, Pitfalls, and What We Still Don’t Know

Seaweed farmers promise to feed people, combat climate change, support coastal communities, and restore ocean habitat. Can kelp do it all?

By Decade Collaborative Center for the NE Pacific

When and where

Date and time

Starts on Tue, Apr 11, 2023 11:30 AM PDT



About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Can kelp farming make the world a better place? Around the globe, seaweed aquaculture is booming, with everyone from government officials to Jeff Bezos jumping on board. The industry is taking off on the west coast of North America, where plans for new kelp farms are popping up everywhere. Advocates tout seaweed farming as a solution to hunger, poverty, greenhouse gas emissions, and the degradation of ocean ecosystems. But so far, evidence is thin. Many questions remain.

Join Rebecca Martone, marine ecologist and executive director of the Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific, and expert panelists for an engaging discussion on kelp farming, its promises and pitfalls. They’ll cover what we know about the potential environmental and social impacts of seaweed aquaculture—including creating fish habitat, combating climate change, and generating revenue for coastal communities—as well as what’s still unknown.

If you’ve heard the buzz about kelp farming but aren’t clear on the details, this event is for you. To learn more about the state of seaweed aquaculture before the event, read Nicola Jones’s recent story in Hakai Magazine, “Banking on the Seaweed Rush.”

At 12:30 pm PT, after the conclusion of the panel, we invite Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) to stay online to discuss, debrief, and exchange ideas in a focused session with the speakers. An Early Career Ocean Professional self-identifies as being early in their career in any field related to the ocean, including undergraduate or graduate education or in the workforce. This portion of the event will be held on a separate zoom co-hosted by ECOP Canada—look for the link on the online event page!


Hakai Magazine is the only journalism outlet to focus entirely on the science and societies of the world’s oceans and coastlines. Founded in 2015 in Victoria, British Columbia, the magazine has more than 300,000 monthly readers from across the globe. Our mandate is to foster a global conversation about coasts—the places where most people live—and we publish all of our stories exclusively online, without paywalls or ads. The magazine is part of the Tula Foundation, an independent charitable foundation based in Canada.

The Tula Foundation’s Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific convenes conversations among knowledge holders, scientists, practitioners, and community members in the Northeast Pacific region. We highlight timely topics and advances in ocean science through the lens of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, grounded in the interests and priorities of coastal communities.

From the coast to the deep water and across boundaries and borders, we acknowledge the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of all the Indigenous peoples that have called the Northeast Pacific region home since time immemorial.


The Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific is committed to meeting accessibility needs where possible. Please contact to discuss how we can help make this event more accessible for you.

Code of Conduct

This is an inclusive event. By submitting your registration, you are agreeing to engage with organizers and other guests at the event in a respectful manner. Offensive or discriminatory behaviour and/or language toward event organizers or other guests will not be tolerated. Such behaviour may result in the removal or banning of the individual(s) from future events.

Image credit: Mercedes Minck

About the organizer

The Regional Collaborative Center for the Ocean Decade in the NE Pacific connects ocean knowledge to ocean action and makes the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development come alive in the NE Pacific region. The Decade Collaborative Center is supported by administrative, communications, data management, and science staff at the Tula Foundation.