Integrated Culture of Seaweeds and Red Abalone in Monterey Harbor

R/A-125 (AQ)
Start/End: March, 2006 to February, 2008

The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an operational seaweed-culturing plan for the Monterey Abalone Company, a medium-sized abalone farm in Monterey Harbor, which currently feeds their abalones kelp harvested from nearby beds. Scientists will continue to experiment with several techniques for growing different species of red algae and kelp on ropes hung inside and outside Monterey Harbor. The idea is to determine how to grow as much seaweed as needed as fast as possible and in the smallest possible space. They will also study the effects of different diets on abalone shell color and growth rates and will determine the amount of seaweed needed to sustain the farm’s 36,000-abalone-per-year production level. The ability to grow seaweeds for cultured abalone will benefit both the aquaculture industry and alleviate pressure on wild beds. California Sea Grant Extension Program plans to adapt research findings into a “user-friendly” manual for industry.