Edible Seaweed of the Pacific Northwest

This guide covers edible seaweed that can be found on shores along the Pacific Northwest: British Columbia, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Northern California.

All seaweed is edible, though some are more nutritional and palatable than others, and some can cause stomach upset. Brown seaweeds such as bull kelp, giant kelp, and alaria fistulosa consist of carbohydrates that cannot be digested. These seaweeds still have value as seasoning agents, food wrapping, and a source of fibre and vitamins.

Warning: although all seaweed is edible, the blue-green algae found in freshwater lakes and streams is very poisonous.

Warning: seaweeds can concentrate undesirable metals (lead, cadmium, copper). Avoid seaweeds from heavily populated centers or industrial areas.

Warning: seaweed washed/found on the shoreline may be rotting.

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