Control of farmed Nereocystis luetkeana sporophyte density via novel seeding technology

Attempts at the commercial cultivation of bull kelp have yet to consistently produce a product that is similar to the wild-type, fronds are typically smaller/skinnier.

This project will test (1) whether seeding density of juvenile sporophytes (using an inoculation density of 100 spores /mL) or (2) the use of discrete seeding points along a grow line (rather than continuous seeding) encourages the production of larger bull kelp fronds. If successful, this work would lead to reduced pressure from the harvest of wild stocks.

Principal Investigator / Project Partners:

  • Schery Umanzor and Tiffany Stephens, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Lexa Meyer and Alf Pryor, Alaska Ocean Farms, LLC.

Project Term:  2023-2024

Funding:  $54,600, Alaska Blue Economy Center (ABEC), University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)