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Kelp farming

Branching Out

In two months, young kelp less than 1 millimeter long (left) will grow nearly one foot (right) and, in six months, will be over six feet and ready for harvest. An increasing number of aquaculture operations in the Northeast are growing either kelp or mussels, which use nearly identical growth media—the nylon string to which the young kelp or mussels are attached. WHOI biologist Scott Lindell is investigating ways for existing kelp and mussel farmers to branch out by growing both crops simultaneously. Lindell hopes that, in addition to helping the farmer, this will also improve water quality and provide better habitat for other coastal species. (Photos by David Bailey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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