Wakame, also known as Japanese kelp, is an invasive non-native species. It is a fouling seaweed which grows rapidly and can outcompete native species.
What does it look like?
Wakame grows to 1-3m in length. This photo shows Wakame on the left and native kelp on the right. The many differing features include:
- wavy edges on the stalk between the end which attaches to the substrate and the large blade
- a distinct mid-rib along the blade
- wavy edges of the blade
Where is it found?
Wakame has been found on the south coast of England, the Channel Islands and also in Scotland.
How is it spread?
Wakame spreads rapidly by releasing spores which quickly attach and grow on surfaces of objects in the water.
If you think you have seen Wakame, please report it following the instructions on our Reporting Invasive Non-Native Species page.