Hear from the Aquaculture experts

Location: Niblic Gallery

12:00 PM noon • The Future of Sustainability in Aquaculture • Barton Seaver

Barton has spent more than 2 decades pursuing his passion for seafood both in the kitchen and on the water.  As an award-winning chef, he ran highly acclaimed restaurants in Washington, DC. Following a successful culinary career, he turned his focus towards fisheries and conservation as an Explorer for the National Geographic Society. He is the author of several books on the topic of sustainable seafood and cookery. He now lives in Maine on a working waterfront, among the fishermen he so admires.


12:30 PM • NEW! Aquaculture Leasing: A lobsterman's perspective • Ernie Burgess

Ernie has lived on Chebeague his entire life and has been fishing the waters for 64 years. Over the years he has seen a lot of changes in the fishery and in Casco Bay. In addition to being a commercial lobsterman, Ernie is also a member of the Chebeague Shellfish Commission. He will provide his perspective on how the aquaculture leasing process may impact lobsterman in Casco Bay now and in the future.


1:00 PM • Starting and Aquaculture Business • Jeff Putnam & The Island Institute

With Maine’s fisheries facing an uncertain future, marine-related economic diversification may help sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal working communities. Hear from Jeff Putnam, a Chebeague Island native and full-time lobsterman, about why he participated in the Island Institute’s Aquaculture Business Development program. He will talk about his motivations for getting into aquaculture, how it can supplement lobstering, and what’s involved in a farm start up. The Island Institute will be on hand to answer questions about the Institute's Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, now in its second year.  Through this program more than a dozen island-based fisherman have started sea farms growing oysters, mussels and kelp.


1:30 PM  Kelp Farming in Casco Bay • Paul Dobbins, Ocean Approved

Maine is developing techniques for growing native kelp as a way for fishermen and farmers to diversify their operations while providing a high quality, nutritious vegetable seafood for new and existing markets. Paul Dobbins, President of Ocean Approved, will talk about growing, processing and marketing kelp in Casco Bay.  This winter, Paul along with Nate Johnson from Long Island, grew Sugar Kelp on submerged long lines off Little Chebeague Island.  This year’s harvest was processed at Ocean Approved’s new 6400 square foot facility in Saco. The simple farm design, winter season, and relatively low startup costs allow for new and existing sea farmers to experiment with this emerging aquaculture effort on Maine’s coast.


2:00 PM • Sustainable Aquaculture in Casco Bay • Matt Moretti, Bangs Island Mussels


In 2010, Matt Moretti and his dad, Gary, bought Bangs Island Mussels. They cultivate rope grown mussels at Clapboard Island and Bangs Island, utilizing sustainable aquaculture practices.  Bangs Island Mussels are distributed nationally; close to home you can find them in several Portland restaurants including Fore Street, Scales and Eventide Oyster Company.  Currently, Bangs Island farms multiple species, including kelp and scallops, on their mussel rafts.  Although the business has been successful, it has not been without its challenges.  Hear an honest account from an experienced farmer about the risks –predators, storms, and changing ocean conditions - and the methods they use to mitigate those risks.


2:30 PMScallop Fishing and Farming: The future in Maine? • Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant

The inshore fishery for scallops has been an important source of winter income for Maine fishermen. Over the years, there have been many attempts to establish a scallop aquaculture industry in Maine. Through collaborative work with fishermen and scientists in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, scallops are en route to become a commercially viable option for producers. Dana will discuss scallops at the crossroads of fishing and farming in Maine - and maybe show a video of the fantastic ear pinning machine!  Dana has been with the Darling Marine Center in Walpole for nearly 20 years and is an Extension Associate for the Maine Sea Grant College Program.  His work ranges from educational programming, technology transfer and applied research with a focus on shellfish aquaculture.