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ABOUT THE PROJECT
The kelp forests in the northern regions of Norway are recovering after many years of grazing from sea urchins. Kelp forests are important ecosystems for thousands of marine organisms and for society by for example filtering water and binding and storing carbon. When kelp grow back in Northern Norway, important benefits to coastal communities can be realized, through restored ecosystems and the potential for kelp harvesting. Along with these new opportunities in Norway, it is important to manage the resource sustainably, in a way that safeguards kelp ecosystems and where harvest can be carried with minor conflicts between different coastal sectors and stakeholders interests.
The OPTIMAKELP project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, will study ecological, social and economic aspects of kelp forests and provide knowledge needed to make informed decisions on how to manage and exploit recovering kelp forests under climatic and political-economic change. A team of scientists from several disciplines including marine biology, environmental economics, natural resource management, environmental law and history work together on the project. We use a comprehensive approach to kelp forests and their relationship to society by investigating the current and future expansion of kelp forests, look at how kelp has been used historically and what future management options might look like and we combine community perspectives with a global outlook on management practices.
OPPORTUNITIES AND TRADEOFFS IN MANAGING KELP
FORESTS IN AN ERA OF BLUE GROWTH