Seaweed is being eyed as an economic development opportunity for Rockland.

Economic Development Director Julie Hashem assisted the Maine Seaweed Exchange in finding venues for a conference and fair that will be held in Rockland this summer.

The conference, to be held at the Strand Theatre July 27, is expected to attract 200 people, she said in a report to the city manager. The fair on the following day will be held at Snow Marine Park, and organizers expect it will draw 1,500 people.

Hashem had reached out to the University of Maine and the Maine Seaweed Exchange to consider seaweed as a possible economic development opportunity.

The Seaweed Exchange was founded by Springtime Seaweed LLC and other Maine seaweed companies, according to its website. Springtime Seaweed is a certified organic seaweed farm in Frenchman Bay.

"We're on a mission to connect buyers and sellers of organic aquacultured seaweeds," the Seaweed Exchange's website says.

The University of Maine Sea Grant office points out that "Maine has a unique opportunity to develop a sea vegetable aquaculture industry, with its cold, clean waters, extensive coastline, and existing fishery and aquaculture industries and infrastructure. Interest in sea vegetable farming is growing in the state, as it may represent an opportunity for diversification for traditional fishermen or sea farmers.

"Sea vegetable aquaculture has the advantage of occurring mainly in the winter months, in the “off season” for lobstering and recreational boating, and consists of simple, submerged long line systems," according to the Sea Grant office.