Harvest Guidelines

The principle is this: For each species, the seaweed harvester and the community need to designate “control” areas where no one harvests, ever. These areas serve to remind us what undisturbed seaweed habitat for each species really looks like.

Next, we need robust apprenticeship programs led by harvesters who have come to realize, through decades of experience, that it takes at least three years of guided observation for an apprentice to begin to understand the impact of his/her actions.

The first year, the apprentice is simply learning to do the work. The second year, the apprentice has an opportunity to revisit places that were harvested the year before, and the experienced harvester will help the apprentice to understand how quickly or slowly the bed is recovering as a result of the previous year’s harvest. Rotational schedules of harvest will be explained, and by the third year, the apprentice will become a more careful observer who is beginning to keep records and sketch maps of specific locations where s/he has worked before. In short, the apprentice is beginning to develop “memory of place”.