Peter’s tips for harvesting seaweed
It depends on the species
“Something like southern bull kelp, you’d probably be best going in after a storm and just getting the freshly beach-washed bull kelp. You can still get it when it is washed up on the beach, as long as it hasn’t started to discolour and smell. It’s probably better to do that than cut off the live plant because bull kelps are quite slow growing as far as seaweeds go.
Other seaweeds are very fast growing
Bladder kelp is one, making it easy to harvest over and over again.
Keep it clean
“The main thing is not to collect seaweed in any area with a lot of urban activity or areas of any pollution,” says Peter. “Be careful collecting it around river mouths or stream mouths after periods of heavy rain, especially if there’s intensive agriculture.”
Know your seaweed
There are no toxic seaweeds in New Zealand but Peter warns some seaweeds, such as hijiki, easily accumulate environmental toxins and should only be eaten in small amounts. Salted sea lettuce.