Kelp are large brown that grow like forests along shallow, rocky coastlines around the world. Large floating kelp beds provide a wealth of benefits and services both to humans and to the marine ecosystem. In the United States, commercial interest in kelp from the pharmaceutical and aquaculture industries has increased the extraction pressure on these ecosystems.
With support from the Lenfest Ocean Program,Yuri Springer and colleagues recently reviewed and synthesized the ecology of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). They conclude that bull kelp is
much more risky to harvest than the more common giant kelp (Macrocystis spp.) and thus regulation of bull kelp extraction must closely control harvest methods and locations. This Lenfest Ocean Program Research Series report is a summary of Springer et al.’s findings.