Aquaculture News

CAN AQUACULTURE HELP WOMEN SECURE A NEW FOOTHOLD IN THE SEAFOOD INDUSTRY?

Civil Eats, 9/14/21 – “In Maine, the available data suggest that while more women are enrolling in the state’s aquaculture training programs, the owners of aquaculture leases that provide long-term rights to farm are overwhelmingly men. Dr. Meryl Williams, who has spent her career studying gender and aquaculture around the world, says that globally, more women may be going into aquaculture, because women tend to have more access when an industry is new.”

OYSTERS IN MAINE

Boston Globe, 9/1/21 – “Plan an oyster-centric getaway this fall with the Maine Oyster Trail, a recently-launched interactive guide to oyster experiences in the state. Slurp and shuck your way along the trail that connects you to 75 Maine businesses, including oyster farm tours, raw bars, mobile shuck trucks, charter tours, and kayak excursions, as well as opportunities to buy oysters directly from farmers along the coast. The Trip Planner allows you to build your own custom route with filters for coastal regions, hands-on experiences, and oyster “hot spots.” Use the digital Oyster Passport to check in at participating businesses, track visits, and complete challenges; redeem check-ins for Maine Oyster Trail rewards and swag.”

MARITIME SHORTS: OYSTER FARM APPLICATION APPROVAL

Mount Desert Islander, 8/30/21 – “The Department of Marine Resources approved a local oyster farmer’s application for a 20-year, 5.82-acre lease off Ingalls Island in Sullivan Harbor.  The department’s decision on Graham Platner’s Frenchman Bay Oyster Company was approved last week. Platner already had smaller licenses at the site. The company plans to have suspended and bottom culture American and eastern oysters. The DMR found that the operations would not unreasonably interfere with fishing, navigation or riparian access. ”

AQUACULTURE IN MAINE 2021

Bangor Daily News, 8/24/21 – “As the entire country struggles to recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID 19, one industry that’s still flourishing is the seafood industry. Executive Director of the Maine Aquaculture Association Sebastian Belle reports that the demand for fresh, high quality seafood has skyrocketed in the past year. ‘When the restaurant sector shut down [due to the pandemic], one of the biggest surprises to us, who are in this sector, is that retail sales of seafood went off the charts.’ Bell said. According to Belle, retail sales of seafood increased by roughly 30-40 percent in the past year.”

AMERICAN UNAGI BREAKS GROUND IN WALDOBORO

Lincoln County News, 7/28/21 – “On July 19, Sara Rademaker, founder and president of American Unagi, a company that grows and sells locally sourced, responsibly raised eels for the U.S. market, met with her construction team on the site of the long-planned state-of-the-art eel aquaculture facility that has finally broken ground in Waldoboro. ‘I was telling the guys when they were pouring the concrete that I’ve been thinking about this moment for seven years,’ Rademaker said. ‘It’s exciting being able to finally see a vision that I had for an aquaculture facility here happening.’ Days later, Rademaker formally announced the ground breaking on July 28, the timing giving added weight to the significance of her achievement. July 28 is also Unagi Day, or Eel Day in Japan, an annual midsummer observance during which eel is eaten to counteract the heat of the summer season.”

COASTAL ENTREPRENEURS CONTINUE TO RAMP UP MAINE’S PRODUCTION OF KELP

Maine Public, 7/27/21 – “Coastal entrepreneurs continue to ramp up Maine’s production of kelp, and a processor that’s seeded the young sector’s growth is responding by opening a 27,000 square foot plant in Biddeford. Atlantic Sea Farms CEO Briana Warner says that in the last two seasons, the 24 farmers who supply kelp to the company have increased their landings by 12,000%, to roughly 700,000 pounds of seaweed this year. Most of them are lobstermen who own their own boats, looking for off-season income. ‘So our partner farmers constitute around 95 percent of all the seaweed that’s grown in the state of Maine, and over 80 percent of what’s grown in the entire United States. So what that means is that fishermen are the ones who are singlehandedly growing the kelp industry in the United States, and they’re fishermen from Maine,’ Warner says.”

UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP? THE STORY OF EELGRASS AND OYSTERS

Bowdoin College, 7/27/21 – “Scientists at Bowdoin are running experiments this summer to see whether oyster farming, contrary to current thinking, can be good for eelgrass—and vice versa. The implications for Maine’s burgeoning oyster aquaculture industry, and for other fisheries, could be significant [. . .] The two biology majors are working with three Bowdoin faculty—Katie DuBois ’11, Bowdoin’s current Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar; Dave Carlon, director of the Schiller Coastal Studies Center; and Justin Baumann, visiting professor of biology. DuBois is a seagrass specialist, while Carlon and Bauman are knowledgeable about marine invertebrates, experimental design, and ocean acidification. The team has also partnered with a neighboring oyster farmer, Pat Scanlan of Snow Island Oysters, who provided support for the research through his nonprofit Quahog Bay Conservancy.”

YOUR LOVE FOR FRESH OYSTERS CAN HELP THE PLANET

National Geographic Travel, 7/26/21 – “Oyster farm tours, like this one led by Love Point Oysters, and self-guided bi-valve trails are cropping up throughout the United States. COVID-19 stalled the trend but with travel restrictions loosening, oyster enthusiasts are once again back on track. Along the Maine Oyster Trail, which re-launched in June, tasting tourists can earn swag by “checking in” at various experiences and sites along the trail, including Love Point. Other trails can be found in Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, the country’s largest producer of aquaculture.”

SOARING SEAWEED DEMAND DRIVES YORK COUNTY FOOD PROCESSOR TO QUADRUPLE ITS SPACE

MaineBiz, 7/26/21 – “Driven by growing product demand, a York County food processor of farmed seaweed is about to move into space four times the size of its current digs. Atlantic Sea Farms recently leased 27,800 square feet of industrial space at 20 Pomerleau St. in Biddeford from Westfield Inc. Greg Hastings and Sam LeGeyt from NAI The Dunham Group and Mike Cobb and Robert Tragemann from Colliers’ Maine office brokered the deal. Atlantic Sea Farms, which makes a variety of food items from a common Maine seaweed, kelp, is currently in an industrial facility of about 7,000 square feet at 89 Industrial Park Road in Saco.”

JOIN THE STARS AS MAINE OUTDOOR FILM FESTIVAL SCREENS 66 FILMS OVER 11 NIGHTS

Portland Press Herald, 7/26/21 – “Just as the 24th Maine International Film Festival closes out its yearly parade of fine films and filmmakers visiting the state, the 10th annual Maine Outdoor Film Festival is taking over Portland (or at least the Eastern Prom). ‘The Sea Farmers,’ from Portland filmmakers Nathan Golon and Emilie Silvestri of GoodFight Media, follows two Maine women working to break into the tough but lucrative aquaculture trade (farming oysters, in their case). Says Callanan of the world premiere short (showing in the Sheepscot Program on Aug. 7).”