In the remote waters of Larsen Bay, off the coast of Kodiak Island, an experiment is underway. Two types of kelp are strung on lines in the ocean waters, and researchers, investors and commercial fishermen are all watching to see if they grow.
Erik O’Brien, a commercial fisherman, planted the kelp last month. He’s one of three Alaska kelp farmers working with a California-based company that’s investing in the project.
The experiment could represent the start of a fledgling kelp farm industry in Alaska. But O’Brien isn’t sure yet whether the venture will pan out.
“There’s way more questions than answers,” O’Brien said.