by John M. Simpson.
Animal rights enthusiasts have a knack for pushing the envelope in their various arguments that legal rights should be recognized for a wide variety of animal species. For example, it was reported recently that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) tweeted in connection with World Oceans Day that “Oysters and other bivalves are animals who deserve our consideration.” Against this backdrop, a recent decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine raised an interesting issue. Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, Ltd., 206 A.3d 283 (Me. 2019), presented the question whether “rockweed,” a species of seaweed in Maine that grows in the intertidal zone, is owned by the adjoining upland property owner who owns the intertidal soil in fee simple or is held in trust by the state through the jus publicum for the public to harvest. Continue reading Maine’s Top Court Rules Harvesting Seaweed Is Not “Fishing”