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We Need a New Word

It did not take the sunset sky long to go from this lovely serene skyscape ... this rather violent image. Same Penobscot Bay scene but now the view seems very different.

So it is with the words we use. A few different turns of phrase and the words take quite different shades of meaning.

Consider what springs to mind when we think of the word farming now that it has become almost a synonym for agribusiness.

That grand old word agriculture comes from the Latin ager meaning field. So culture in the fields is what we mean when we say agriculture. It's then an easy transition to the word aquaculture, raising crops in water. The term is not quite specific enough to tell us whether we are meaning crops raised in a tank of water on land or crops raised in lakes and ponds or in rivers or in the ocean. In the relatively short time that we have watched aquaculture expanding, we have seen arise the same problems of scale and pollution issues as we see in today's agriculture. So aquaculture is already a term with some shades of meaning.

Perhaps we should stick to the term mariculture when we speak of raising shellfish in the bay. It is even a good thing if that brings to mind the word meroir, another word derived from the word for sea. Just a vintners speak of various vineyards having a distinct character based on the total environment, so too shellfish connoisseurs have noted that the currents, geology, temperature, salinity, accompanying creature populations etc all give shellfish distinct characteristics based on place. Meroir. That has great possibilities for all the mariculture endeavors of Penobscot Bay.

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