A team of researchers from Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria are studying the movement of a special kind of seaweed.

Mazzaella japonica is a red algae introduced from Japan a long time ago. A large amount of it is harvested from BC beaches and exported to Europe. Since 2007, the BC Ministry of Agriculture has been issuing licenses to harvest it, but there’s very little known about the impact.

Sarah Dudas, a Canada Research Chair, says that’s what they’re trying to find out.

Dudas says they’ll be tagging bunches of seaweed and leaving them on the beach in the Deep Bay and Bowser areas.  Then researchers will monitor the beaches between now and February 9 to see if and where it moves.

They’re asking anyone who spots a bundle not to remove it. Instead, take a photo and send an email to jjholden@uvic.ca saying exactly where you found it.