Getting to Know Dulse (a Little Better)

I​n this video, courtesy of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Dr. Chris Langdon gives a brief tour and description of The Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station’s dulse production and research efforts.

Dulse is a nutrient-dense, bright red marine alga that grows from Alaska to California. It has been well documented due to the bacon-like flavor of one specific variety when fried. The high glutamic acid level gives it its meaty taste.

Dulse also grows very quickly in recirculating aquaculture tanks, which means that it could be part of the solution to feeding our global population.

“We started growing this for abalone, as an abalone food,” says Dr. Langdon, “and the abalone loved it and grew faster than anyone had reported in the scientific literature.”

Now the researchers have taken their dulse cultivation to the next step: growing indoors on panels, under artificial light. “The cost of lighting now, with LEDs, has dramatically declined,” he says. “And so, it’s feasible now to grow dulse using not just natural light, but also artificial light.”

That technology has already been applied to a company in Hawaii: Big Island Abalone Corporation. “They grow 10 acres of dulse a year and send two million baby abalone to Asia for sale,” he says. “We’ve started looking at this dulse as a food for the future.”

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