Busy day today. A check of our traps showed that the lobsters really are not here yet. Then we took a group - new local restaurant staff - out to show them where their farmed scallops come from. Years ago, back when I was mostly fishing for lobster, I realized that our Bay was a richly diverse ecosystem and it would be wise to think of it that way. We all used to switch gear with the seasons, rig for going shrimping, and change gear for scallop dredging etc. Now we are seeing that become ever more challenging.
Scallop farming is a relative recent opportunity. The Japanese have developed quite a scallop aquaculture industry so a number of us went there to visit and learn. Now my son Bobby and I still fish for lobsters but we have diversified. Currently our PenBay Farmed Scallops is the only licensed scallop aquaculture operation here in Maine. We are working closely with such scientific enterprises as SeaGrant to get good data for the Gulf of Maine. We are offering a well-received product locally to fine restaurants.
For us this is about so much more than making delicious whole fresh native scallops available. Scallop farming in the right place and at the appropriate scale actually leaves the environment in better shape than how we found it. You are invited through these blog posts to learn how true that is! That is the way forward into a sustainable future.