When it comes to seaweed production, Maine is tops. At least in this country.
Mainer harvesters collected more than 17 million pounds of seaweed in 2014. That's more than four times the 2004 total. State and federal figures show Maine is the nation's No. 1 seaweed producer.
The Maine Seaweed Council says rockweed is by far the most commonly harvested seaweed in the state. Its many uses include as fertilizer, soil conditioner and as a source of nutrients for animal feed.
But Maine seaweed harvesters and processors say there is an increased growth in interest in seaweed as food. They tout seaweed's high concentration of nutrients.
More than 3,000 seaweed lovers gathered in South Portland earlier this year for the second annual Maine Seaweed Festival. That's twice last year's attendance.