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Court sides with property owners in rockweed harvesting

March 28, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s supreme court says permission is needed from coastal landowners for harvesting of a type of seaweed that’s growing in value.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by Acadian Seaplants, a Nova Scotia company with operations in Washington County.

The company plans to abide by the ruling but President Jean-Paul Deveau said the decision is bad for the economy. He said environmentally sustainable harvesting of rockweed has created jobs.

The supreme court said that rockweed in the intertidal zone belongs to the coastal property owner and cannot be harvested without permission.

Rockweed grows on rocks or dock pilings. It’s used as health food, nutritional supplements, fertilizer and packing material for lobsters.

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