HSC : August 2022 – Seaweed and Climate Change

In August we met with a group of researchers to talk about a project they are developing around black seaweed and climate change. They are Mark Stekoll, Julie Schram, Jan Conitz, Davin Holen, and Thomas Thornton. On the call were Erica Drahozal, Julian Narvaez, and Ian Johnson.

The Takeaways :

  • This project could help us think about the risk of seaweed to climate change and document local knowledge around seaweed and seaweed change
  • This project would kickoff in October 2023 if funding is awarded
  • Key questions for community members in the project would be :
    • Have communities noticed changes in abundance, location in intertidal, or quality of Seaweed?
    • Have community members seen changes over time in general abundance changed? If so, is that over years, or decades, or what time scale?

We’ll keep you in the loop as this project develops more! Below is the official abstract of their proposal.

Raw Notes from Ian

Mike Stekoll – UAF Emeritus, last 40 years of various types, valdez

Glacier to gulf project – effects of climate change on harvest

Julie Schram – Moved to Juneau in 2020, study interface between invertabrates and seaweed

Excited to meet more people in Alaska

Jan Conitz – UA system, mariculture research group, have worked with Seaweeds in the past, worked in fisheries for 20 years, working in communities in Kake, Klawock, Angoon

Davin Holen – SeaGrant, NOAA/UAS, Anthropologist , quite a bit of time in SE over the years, has harvested Hoonah seaweed before, worked with local folks on that

Tom Thornton – UAS, was at division of subsistence, worked in Hoonah around herring eggs and herring egg distribution, indigenous placenames

Erica Drahozal, ISP, working remotely in CO traveling back and forth

Julian – at HIA Environmental Education Coordinator, RASOR

Innovation Hubs/ Workforce dvelopment – monitoring or workforce, how do we develop new technologies to accommodate – there will be funding for local coordinators, Haines, Klukwan, Kachemak Bay

Mike – two pieces or research but both around red seaweed. Around Haines they were noticing that there isn’t as good of harvest as in the past. Is it climate change, or is it something else? Also interested in Black Seaweed. Have communities noticed changes in abundance, location in intertidal, or quality of Seaweed?

Black seaweed has the highest protien

What times of the year is the protien the highest? What is effect of temp, salinity, glacier, how does that impact seaweed?

How can communities get involved? Tom – getting started is enggaing communities around knowledge of the resources, changes over time, has general abundance changed? What time scale makes sense?

Sampling plan – would need to train some folks, collect samples, perhaps an AYS piece

Ideal time of the year for sampling? Black Seaweed grows early spring/late winter – take samples throughout the whole timeframe

Long term monitoring of temperature and salinity

Jan – Environmental factors that make it grow well in some places. Specific causes are hard to determine. Places that have good current.

Discussions in Kake – black seaweed and related groups, conference with Sean, there is concern about putting these species into mariculture

What do we want as outcomes of the work and project?

Tom – Identifying sources of concerns, document the issues – if there are concerns that come up thatg

What are the potentials for the future? Can we grow different seaweeds in different places throughout the state?

Project starts in Year – October 2023 would be the timeline for that

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