A group of students from the Eastern Maine Skippers program with Tom Duym, Fisheries Education Specialist at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries , recently joined Environmental Studies researcher Caitlin Cleaver aboard the Brewer's boat to gather data on rearing scallops and best methods for dealing with biofouling of the nets in which the farmed scallops live.
The students carefully measure the scallops which are then placed in experimental nets and returned to the sea to grow
- and here is where biofouling comes in.
What a mess! of sea squirts! The next time the group goes out they will wash the nets, weighing them before and after washing. They will collect what gets removed , weigh that and remeasure the scallops.
The net washer trials will compare doing nothing, using using old-fashioned power washing, and the new generation of machine washers. Which works the best? How do the scallops thrive?
Dr. Alexa Dayton, Executive Director of MCCF, congratulates Cait on a job well done, or rather well begun. Appropriately designed studies with resulting data are what will guide our fisheries to a sustainable future. The young people who go out with knowledgeable fishermen like Marsden Brewer and his son Bob are our future as well.