American Unagi

Maine Public Radio has aired a piece on the innovative work being done by Sara Rademaker at American Unagi to establish eel aquaculture in Maine,

Many Mainers are familiar with the state’s lucrative fishery for transparent “glass eels,” or elvers. They can fetch thousands of dollars a pound when shipped to Japan, China and other Asian countries, where they are grown to market size.

Now, one Maine entrepreneur wants to add the value herself, growing eels to full size here — a first for the U.S. The startup, American Unagi, is showing early signs of success.

Scallop Aquaculture

The Press Herald reports on efforts to develop a Maine scallop aquaculture industry,

The Atlantic sea scallop is a New England mainstay, but unlike oysters and mussels, they’re almost exclusively harvested from the wild on the East Coast. A loose consortium of aquaculture businesses off the Maine coast is looking to change that by making scallop farming a viable option here. It’s one of the first serious attempts to farm Atlantic sea scallops in the United States.

Maine Scallops

The Maine Sunday Telegram has explained why only a limited part of the Maine scallop makes it on to the dish and reports on a new aquaculture operation that may change that.

December into April is the season when wild Atlantic sea scallops can be pulled from state-regulated waters in the Gulf of Maine both by divers and mechanical drags for our dining delight. Maine scallops are both delicious and pricey, but few of us realize that half of the scallop is chucked out at sea even though it’s perfectly edible.

This might also explain why it’s illegal in Maine to serve scallops on their shell in Maine.

Oyster Farming

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram traces the oysters “journey from sea to table”.

Customers may not know where Basket Island is – a 10-acre island one mile southwest of Cousins Island, owned by Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust – or the specific origins of any of the other 11 Maine-grown oysters on Eventide’s menu. They might know only that slightly sweet oyster they slurped down with a flavored ice or a red wine mignonette is local, of Maine. And delicious.

But how did it get to their table? How long was its journey and what did it entail?

NYT: Decline of Maine Shrimp Fishery

The New York Times has published an article on the Maine Shrimp fishery. Sam Hayward, Don Lindgren and Glen Libby are all featured in this article by Mary Pols.

So far, according to scientists who survey the Gulf of Maine annually, it hasn’t. Their most recent data show Northern shrimp numbers at a historic low for the 34 years in which they have been counting the crustacean, Pandalus borealis. Egg production is down. Survival rates for larvae are poor.

And Without Maine Shrimp…

The Maine Sunday Telegram checked in with Portland restaurants to learn how they are adapting to the multi-year closure of the Maine shrimp fishery.

For the fifth year in a row, the sweet little morsels likely won’t appear on Maine restaurant menus. At a time when chefs are more focused than ever on local ingredients, what will they do without these winter delicacies – especially when it looks as if they may never come back?

Maine’s Growing Oyster Industry

The Press Herald has published an article on Maine’s oyster aquaculture industry.

Now new farmers trying their hand at growing oysters have moved outside the Damariscotta River – farms small and large can be found along the entire coast, from the Piscataqua River in Eliot to Little Machias Bay in Cutler. Pushing the expansion is demand. Oyster landings have increased 254 percent and the harvest’s value has grown about 300 percent since 2011, state records show.

Resurgence of River Herring

Here’s some wonderful news about the resurgence of river herring in Maine rivers and its potential to positively impact stocks of cod, halibut and other species.

With nearly 3.8 million fish counted at its fish passages this year, the Kennebec is now home to one of the largest river herring runs in North America, and Maine is likely to become the two species’ worldwide epicenter as the herring colonize newly opened habitat. The Penobscot saw 1.9 million, on par with last year, while the St. Croix’s 158,000-fish run was the largest in two decades.

The Price of Lobster

Close on the heels of the BDN’s article on this topic earlier this week, the Press Herald has published an article about the price of lobster meat.

Wintry weather and a cool spring have limited supply, as lobsters have stayed put offshore and lobstermen have stayed home, waiting for the lobsters to migrate closer to shore with warmer water. Add in the international competition for Maine lobster in Europe and Asia, and lobster prices are becoming harder than ever to predict.