Aquaculture Industry Panel to Descend on Washington

Longtime Seaweed Entrepreneur Tollef Olson to Represent Maine and Northeast

WASHINGTON D.C.  -- June 13, 2017 -- The Sea Grant Association (SGA), a nonprofit that advocates for greater understanding and use of marine coastal resources, will brief U.S. Congressional Leaders today on Capitol Hill about the challenges and enormous opportunity facing the U.S. aquaculture industry. The briefing takes place after President Donald Trump proposed the termination of the Sea Grant program. According to a 2017, economic impact study, Maine’s aquaculture sector has almost tripled from $50 million in 2007 to $137 million today, and aquaculture is widely seen as an industry that supports clean water, sustainable jobs, and a traditional way of life for coastal communities.

Aquaculture industry pioneer Tollef Olson, founder of Bangs Island Mussels, Ocean Approved, and co-founder of Ocean’s Balance, is one of five panelists from across the country who will speak at the event. Olson is the only representative from the northeast.

“I’m looking forward to visiting Washington to make the case for aquaculture,” said Olson.  “I’ve been in the aquaculture business since the 1990s, and our industry is finally starting to prosper. This is not the time to pull the plug on funding. We need support and investment to address significant barriers and obstacles to success.”

Olson continued: “Sea Grant understands that aquaculture helps ensure future food security and employment for our coastal communities.”

The briefing of Congressional leaders takes place during the annual Capitol Hill Ocean Week, which draws dozens of ocean and coastal groups to Washington each year to raise the profile of ocean and coastal issues, such as conservation, science, marine mammals, aquaculture, and marine policy issues. More than 100 guests are expected to attend. 

After the briefing, Olson will visit the offices of Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to further the discussion and knowledge sharing about the economic importance of aquaculture.

About Ocean’s Balance
Ocean’s Balance produces innovative, edible products made from seaweed sustainably grown and harvested in the clean waters of the Gulf of Maine. We use zero-input sustainable farming practices to produce all-natural products. For more information visit www.oceansbalance.com. Follow Ocean’s Balance on Facebook or on Instagram. Retailers or food service buyers interested in ordering please email lscali@oceansbalance.com.