Project

Advancing Aquaculture

Supporting the growth of the aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine.

We are working collaboratively with industry leaders, farmers, researchers, the business community, and other nonprofits to identify and pursue opportunities to expand the sustainable aquaculture sector. Together, we are helping the industry overcome obstacles related to workforce, business planning and training, knowledge transfer, market identification and development, and community approaches to enhancing profitability.

Aquaculture Projects

Explore the different ways in which we work to expand and support aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine.

Aquaculture is the practice of growing seafood in a controlled setting, as opposed to harvesting wild populations. Aquaculture accounts for roughly half of all global seafood production and its output is increasing rapidly while wild-harvest rates have remained essentially flat. Marine species being farmed commercially in the Gulf of Maine include Atlantic salmon, eastern and European oysters, blue mussels, sea vegetables, and American eel. Sea farmers and researchers are working to develop techniques for growing additional species such as sea scallops, soft-shell clams, hard-shell clams, additional species of marine algae.

Why Aquaculture?

We launched a program to support the growth of the aquaculture industry in the Gulf of Maine because the increasingly important role aquaculture is playing in the Gulf, and its potential to support livelihoods in coastal communities, inspired us at GMRI to delve into this new area. Approached properly, aquaculture produces some of the most sustainable and nutritious food available. Being able to control production results in some of the most fresh, premium quality seafood available. The growth of the industry must be pursued thoughtfully to keep ecosystems in balance, and to support fishing industries and coastal communities that depend on the GoME for their livelihoods, and to ensure that the high quality of product that rightfully fetches a premium in the marketplace is maintained sustainably.

Mook Sea Farm is an oyster farm founded in 1985 on the Damariscotta River in Midcoast Maine. There, owner and operator Bill Mook unites a passion for science and discovery with a fierce entrepreneurial streak.

Our Role

We are working collaboratively with industry leaders, farmers, researchers, the business community, and other nonprofits to identify and pursue opportunities to expand the sustainable aquaculture sector. Together, we are helping the industry overcome obstacles related to workforce, business planning and training, knowledge transfer, market identification and development, and community approaches to enhancing profitability.

For more than a decade, we've worked to ensure that the Gulf of Maine’s rich and productive ecosystem supports an array of wild fisheries and the communities that depend upon them. In addition to healthy wild fisheries, an expanded aquaculture industry is essential for the region to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population and adapting to a warming climate. Far from being mutually exclusive, the two approaches lie along the same continuum of marine stewardship that rely on a clean environment, a keen understanding of the Gulf of Maine, thoughtful management, innovative leadership, and an informed and supportive public.

Aquaculture Team

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