Mahon is a chemist at Zotos International, a Darien-based cosmetics company. He says it's his understanding that Zotos does bring in some seaweed products from outside the U.S. "We do have a relationship with a French supplier," Mahon says.
But he's intrigued by the idea of locally grown Connecticut seaweed, and that led to the invitation for Yarish to speak at the society's annual scientific seminar.
(Just in case you're interested, it's at Giovanni's in Darien on Sept. 17. Cocktails start at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6:15, and Yarish's talk is supposed to start at 7 o'clock. Word of warning: you need to register and there is a fee involved.)
Yarish isn't kidding around about this. He says he's "already done the analysis" and has "already designed proposals" for the best uses for Connecticut seaweed.
After one rather lengthy riff on the business possibilities of seaweed in this state, Yarish pauses and laughs, perhaps recognizing that he wasn't exactly sounding like a disinterested academic researcher.
"I have to be realistic," Yarish explains. And he's absolutely convinced that it's realistic to think selling Connecticut seaweed to the cosmetics industry can provide "new markets for our future farmers in our coastal waters."