Kelp is harvested to make a variety of commercial products, but the harvest must be carefully regulated to avoid harming the kelp forest ecosystem.
Bull kelp forests offer protective shelter for young fishes and many invertebrates, such as sea urchins, sea stars, snails and crabs. Sea otters thrive in kelp forests too. They can find their favorite foods on the forest floor, then take an after-lunch nap in the forest’s golden canopy—often wrapped in a flexible stem or two to keep from drifting away.
The gas in bull kelp floats is up to 10% carbon monoxide.
Nereocystis, this plant’s genus, is the Greek word for “mermaid’s bladder.”