Maine’s First Aquaculture Cooperative
Maine’s first aquaculture co-op
The Maine Aquaculture Co-op (Co-op) is Maine’s first aquaculture cooperative, with a board and membership comprised of Maine fishermen and aquaculturists. We seek to expand Maine’s seafood-producing industries through the thoughtful integration of fishing and farming, to diversify income opportunities for Maine fishermen, maintain our robust working waterfront, and strengthen our coastal communities. By working cooperatively, we are better able to solve technical difficulties, share best practices and resources, and leverage buying and marketing power.
Our farms are located throughout Penobscot Bay from Tenants Harbor to North Haven to Stonington. Our scallops are grown on submerged long lines up to 100 feet deep from wild spat collected by Co-op members. Spat is collected each year from September-January and in the early spring the spat, now a baby scallop the size of a small fingernail is placed into lantern nets and hung on long lines. Throughout the year, when our Co-op members aren’t lobster fishing, they tend their scallops, grading and thinning them for optimal grow out. Although our scallops are “farmed” they are in essence wild scallops: they are not fed anything and, as filter feeders, they clean the waters they inhabit. Scallops are typically harvested throughout the winter when biotoxicity is low. The Co-op has been landing and producing a live scallop product for two years, and was the first entity in Maine to grow and sell a live Atlantic Sea Scallop.
In the News
The St. George Dragon
New scallop aquaculture coop aims to diversify a fishery while keeping profits ‘at the shore’
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