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Getting Started in Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture



we on the coast of Maine are almost completely reliant on two industries tourism and lobster so aquaculture particularly in mussels kelp and oysters seem to be a really great way to work with fishermen to diversify their own personal incomes and really just go back to what people have always done in the fishing industry which is fish for many species so we came up with this aquaculture business development cohort to help people get started business planning site planning investment planning time planning was all kind of laid out there depending in you could scale it to your operation lobster industry of course is seasonal and so we have slow winters then the boat yard is also very seasonal where we're very busy in the springtime but once they're all put away a lot of times there's limited work and we have a crew of anywhere between six and ten people and so to try to keep everyone employed year-round harvesting mussels and building rafts that really will fall right during our slow time I received a small startup loan through the island coastal innovation fund and that money allowed me to purchase the oyster seed and also the bags and cages that you see floating out at my farm and then I received micro-grid to purchase additional survey equipment so I'm able to see where I want to expand my operation in the future we've also been really focused on connecting people to existing agriculturists to buyers and so as somebody coming in to the agriculture industry approaching those people and saying here's what I'm thinking about all Dobyns at oceans approved I emailed him the other day and I said hey can I come please watch or help you plant seed just so I can do it one time before I do it for myself I don't screw mine up if it works well I would like to go on to an experiment at least and have three acres and really grow kelp it really makes some money it's all about making money so I don't have to do any cabinetry work and then winter time for estimating over the next five years that they're gonna make an eight point five million dollar impact on the coast of Maine which is huge for just a few times of us getting together with them and going through business plans and talking about financing and introducing them to buyers and I mean the amount of work that we did versus the incredible amount of work that that day did to make this happen is is amazing for that kind of impact along the coast and I really look forward to doing this on my own it's a good challenge I have three boys I'll have something to show them that another fishery is possible till you get out there and do it you just aren't gonna know what the outcomes gonna be you just got to get out there and do it it's going gangbusters right now like this is a good time to get into it

5 Comments

  1. BarbarianUtopia

    The concern I have is that, unlike Maine commercial fishing licenses, standard aquaculture leases are transferable. These industries can be consolidated, as we've seen in the salmon aquaculture industry, which now belongs to one foreign company. With the Department of Energy funding research for economy of scale kelp farming for chemical and biofuel production, I am concerned that many small producers will be priced out of the market, as happened with salmon.

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  2. gszikra

    I am interested about creating a kelp field off the Southern-California coast.
    And I am interested about extending the field to open ocean environment beyond the EEZ
    (Exclusive Economic Zone), 200(n)miles off shore. Mooring lines would possibly be made of
    recycled car tires. Lots of tires are available for recycling. Long lines are possible.
    Recycling fee is also available for picking up the tires. I am interested about equal partner cooperation.
    [email protected]

    Reply
  3. Davis Koier

    Maine is so fortunate to have the research available from the Island Inststitute to make these projects feasible. Maine is becoming a destination for great farmed shellfish. A seafood and beer lovers paradise.

    Reply

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