A commercially important species, Saccharina japonica is known as kombu (in China haidai), an important food from Japan. Large harvests are produced by rope cultivation, a simple method of growing seaweeds by attaching them to floating ropes in the ocean.
The species is native to Japan, but has been cultivated in China, Japan, Russia, France, and Korea. It is one of the two most consumed species of kelp in China and Japan. The harvest is also used for the production of alginates, with China producing up to ten thousand tonnes of the product each year.
The species was transferred to Saccharina in 2006. Three synonyms for this species name are Laminaria japonica J.E. Areschoug 1851, its variety Laminaria japonica var. ochotensis (Miyabe) Okamura 1936, and Laminaria ochotensis Miyabe 1902.
- M. D. Guiry. "Kelps: Laminaria and Saccharina". www.seaweed.ie. http://www.seaweed.ie/algae/laminaria.html.
- Laminaria seafarming in China FAO
- Guiry, M.D.; Guiry, G.M. (2008). "'Saccharina japonica'". AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org/search/species/detail/?species_id=129141.
- M. D. Guiry. "Alginates". www.seaweed.ie. http://www.seaweed.ie/uses_general/alginates.html.
- Lane, C.E., Mayes, C., Druehl, L.D. & Saunders, G.W. (2006). A multi-gene molecular investigation of the kelp (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) supports substantial taxonomic re-organization. Journal of Phycology 42: 493-512.