Captain David Blaney founded Point Judith Kelp Co. in 2015 with the mission of growing and harvesting sea vegetables – thereby bringing a slice of the more-than-$7 billion sea vegetable industry to the Ocean State.
Point Judith Kelp Co. has harvested and sold wild-growing sea vegetables like hijiki, sea lettuce, Irish moss and sugar kelp since its inception and was granted the final permits in May 2016 to plant Rhode Island’s first dedicated kelp farm – 2.75 acres off the coast of Point Judith. Although there are few regulations on seaweed growing and harvesting in Rhode Island, Point Judith Kelp uses environmentally-conscious harvesting and growing methods that are in line with guidelines established by the Maine Seaweed Council and the Canadian Seaweed Council.
Captain David Blaney is an experienced sea captain and fisherman who comes from a long line of Rhode Island farmers and fishermen/women – his ancestors reach back 300 years to Roger Williams and some of Rhode Island’s first English settlers. He grew up working in the state’s fishing industry and spent 40 years traveling as far as the Bering Sea as a commercial fisherman.
In 2015, David began collaborating with the non-profit GreenWave – an organization with the mission of building the sea vegetable industry in the United States. GreenWave helped David by providing technical assistance and the seed needed to kick-start a dedicated Rhode Island kelp farm, and David is now on the Board of Directors of GreenWave. David manages Point Judith Kelp Co.’s growing and harvesting operation with a seasonal team of workers.