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Eco Judo

Ju Do- the gentle way. Yes, indeed, the scallop farmer becomes a master of the art of using the nature of the opponent’s own behavior in a contest. How? First, let’s talk about spat. No, not the term for bickering but the term for various bivalve larvae. Take a look at this boatload of bags. They are Netron® filament-filled mesh bags. Red or green? Take your pick—spat bags just happen to come in different colors.) And those large bags in front?


To get a picture of what's going on, take a look at this model from the Brewers’ trip to Japan.

The spat bags are hung in the water column from a longline anchored to the sea bottom. Here on Deer Isle of course we use granite rocks to anchor the line.


Now here’s the trick. Mussels and barnacles and who-knows-what-else would just love to move into the safety of those bags and settle down on the cozy filaments. But as you can see from the photograph, this is a bag full of little scallops.

And here is the clever Ju Do part. Use your opponent’s weight, behavior, against him to gain your own triumph. What the Brewers do is wait for that period after the adult scallop have spawned but before the resulting free-swimming baby scallops are ready to settle down, attach, and grow a shell. When the nice, colorful, empty bags are lowered down, the mussels and barnacles have not yet arrived. The scallops move in. Then the Brewers move the tiny scallop babes to lantern nets.

From there on, the scallops slowly grow larger on all the luscious plankton. As they grow, Bobby and his father keep sorting and moving the scallops so there are never too many in one net. How wonderful to be not crowded and safe from predators!

With a bit of sorting and a final washing off, you get a basket full of pretty PenBay Princesses.

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