Community News

NOT YOUR TYPICAL FARM: MAINE AQUAPONICS FARM USES LESS WATER, LAND

WMTW-8, 7/26/22 – “‘Aquaponics in its simplest form is the combination and symbiotic relationship between plants and fish,’ Sierra Kenkel of Springworks Farm said. Kenkel and her brother Trevor are farmers from Montana who brought their unique form of farming to Maine. What are aquaponics? Instead of resting in soil outside and reliant on weather, all the growing is done inside and begins with fish in pools.”

SEAWEED HELPS MAINE LOBSTERMEN RIDE THE STORM OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Washington Post, 7/25/22 – “As the CEO and president of Atlantic Sea Farms, the 38-year-old Warner is using seaweed to quietly revolutionize Maine’s struggling fishing industry. Up and down the Maine coast, thousands of lines like this have been planted by fishermen growing seaweed in partnership with her company. In the fall, the fishermen plant tiny kelp seeds on the 1,000-foot-long ropes, and by late spring, attached to each one is close to 6,000 pounds of fresh sugar kelp. The seaweed is harvested, flash frozen and used to make kelp cubes for smoothies, as well as seaweed salad, seaweed kraut and more. Seaweed is Maine’s new cash crop.”

Jonesport residents reject aquaculture moratorium

Maine Public, 7/21/22 – “Jonesport residents rejected a proposed moratorium on large aquaculture projects Wednesday night, potentially clearing the way for a Dutch company to set up a land-based yellowtail fish farm there. The vote was 201- 91 against a moratorium that would have blocked Kingfish Maine from building a 15-to-20 acre aquaculture facility in Jonesport [. . .] Billy Milliken, the chairman of the Jonesport Board of Selectmen, said the topic generated heated debate among town residents and some opposition groups, but now the issue is settled. ‘Not all of the town of Jonesport was convinced, but a huge majority, a super majority of the people in the town of Jonesport support this,’ he said. ‘They feel good with the science. They feel good that this business is consistent with who we are, with what made us.'”

OVER 100 MAINE SEAFOOD DEALERS AND PROCESSORS AWARDED MORE THAN $15 MILLION IN GRANTS

WABI-5, 6/29/22 “More than 100 Maine seafood dealers and processors have been awarded more than $15 million in grants through the Seafood Dealer and Processor COVID-19 Response and Resilience Program. ‘It’s a very expensive machine for a family run business. And actually, starting next week, we’re going to be in most of the Hannaford stores around. We’re going to be shipping mussels for over 150 Hannaford stores in the Northeast,’ said de Koning, Hollander and de Koning owner.”

KINGFISH MAINE PROJECT RECEIVES OFFICIAL GREEN LIGHT

Fish Farmer Magazine, 6/29/22 – “The permit was granted by the US Army Corps of Engineers and follows the approval of key permits from the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and critical water-side permits last year. Kingfish Maine is in the final phases of design, and in an Oslo Stock Exchange announcement last night, the company said contractor bidding selection is underway. The facility in Jonesport will serve as Kingfish’s first production facility in the US as the company looks to replicate its successful operation in Europe and establish significant local sustainable seafood production for US retailers and food service.”

TO CUT OCEAN PLASTIC POLLUTION, AQUACULTURE TURNS TO RENEWABLE GEAR

Civil Eats, 6/27/22 – “Energetic and intense, [Eric] Oransky grew up in Freeport, Maine, and spent summers sailing in Casco Bay. His passion for the water led him to cofound Maine Ocean Farms in 2017, after working as a woodworker. Like many in Maine’s mariculturist community, Oransky is young, innovative, and environmentally minded. ‘Those are the people who are driving the interest in reducing plastics and coming up with non-fossil fuel-based technologies,’ Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, told Civil Eats. 

FIRST OYSTER FESTIVAL IN FREEPORT A SALTY SUCCESS

Portland Press Herald, 6/26/22 – “Dozens of Mainers and out-of-staters stood in long lines to taste freshly shucked Maine oysters at Freeport’s first Oyster Festival. Eros Oyster of Robinhood Cove created an aesthetically pleasing serve yourself display, placing shucked oysters in a wooden boat filled with ice and seaweed. ‘The hardest part about shucking oysters is not eating them,’ said owner Mark Gaffney. Plenty of Maine locals made the trip to Freeport to slurp up a few oysters. ‘We love oysters!’ Said Orrington residents Kris and Ray Leonard. The festival wasn’t just about eating oysters, but what you can do with the shells after they’ve been shucked.”

OYSTER FARMER SHARES HER LOVE OF FARMING IN MAINE

Fox 22, 6/24/22 – “The oyster industry is booming and farmers across Maine are harvesting during the busy summer months for residents and visitors alike. ‘I love just being out in the water it’s my happy place,’ says Abby Barrows of Long Cove Sea Farm. Abby Barrows is an oyster farmer with two other females contributing to her business, Long Cove Sea Farm in Deer Isle. She bought the business from a previous farmer back in 2015 and has grown ever since. ‘There are wonderful freedoms of running your own business but also it’s a lot of responsibility,’ she says.”

WOMEN ARE CHARTING NEW PATHS ON CHANGING WATERS

Modern Farmer, 6/20/22 – “These kelp and shellfish farmers are breaking down barriers in aquaculture and helping to pave the way for the next generation [. . .] Emily Selinger, a longtime water woman, farms oysters. Like kelp, oyster farming helps the environment by filtering and sequestering carbon. But the autonomy of the industry is what drew Selinger in. ‘I realized the happiest place for me is calling my own shots,’ she says. ‘While I have arguably more work to do in my daily, weekly life running this business, there’s none of the stress and tension of those really intense male-dominated work environments.'”

A MAINE KELP BUSINESS ON GLOBAL STAGE AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS

Mainebiz, 6/2/22 – “The CEO of a Biddeford kelp processing company had some lessons to share with international business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, held May 22-26 in Davos, Switzerland. In a session on the ‘blue economy,’ Briana Warner discussed how Atlantic Sea Farms’ business model and products are driving positive change for people and the planet in the face of climate change. Warner, a 2020 Mainebiz Next list honoree, was invited as one of 20 innovators from around the world to be part of the forum’s UpLink Top Innovator program.”