It is native to the Southern Hemisphere (Australia
and New Zealand) but has been crept into the Northern Hemisphere
where it was first recorded in Europe in 1925.
Red Harpoon is now found globally, from the Canary
Islands to Morocco and throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Its extract is a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial qualities
and is a valued ingredient in many cosmetic products. It is
harvested or grown for the production of agar, a firm gel-like
substance that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in many food
It is not easily harvested because it grows
attached to other algae so it is either carefully gathered by hand
or grown in farms. You can find out more about Red Harpoon at the
Seaweed Industry Association. Red Harpoon is an approved
ingredient by the
Natural Products Association.