Look who's hanging out with the scallops!
For centuries shellfish and seaweeds have been cultured together in one way or another. These days scallops in lantern nets hang below horizontal ropes of kelp creating an underwater farm with a very small footprint. The kelp is harvested and dried to be processed in various ways. The scallops are harvested and shipped live. Both organisms actually improve the health of our waters.
Add to that the fact that the two also have an additive effect on our gourmet cooking and you have products with real possibilities for our coastal economies.
Chefs call foods which taste good together "flavor partners". We are also now learning about the enhancing principles of umami. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a good paella-style combination of lobster and scallops has experienced the delicious flavor boost that whole scallops give to lobster. Sprinkle on a bit of kelp flakes and you have an amazing treat.
Now what can we do to give a boost to adding kelp and scallop culture to lobster fishing? Together, using the same boats the same crew and the same local knowledge, the crops could add a measure of stability to our coastal economies in what are sure to become increasingly fraught times for the Gulf of Maine. Here is an excellent article with facts and figures about areas which need to be addressed :