Maine Dayboat Sea Scallops

Eater has published an article about Togue Brawn and her work developing the Maine dayboat sea scallop market.

Brawn slices each plump, ivory-colored cylinder into thinner disks she lays on a platter. “The texture is what you should really notice, and the flavor is good and not fishy,” she says, then a confession: “I am obsessed with scallops.” She wants everyone else to be obsessed with scallops, too. And since the pandemic caused a swell of enthusiasm for mail-ordered foodstuffs — including Brawn’s scallops — that time may well be nigh.

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Stew

The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has launched Maine Coast Fishermen’s Stew which features sustainably harvested monkfish caught by local small-boat fishermen. The stew is produced in collaboration with the Hurricane Soup company in Greene, Maine.

Proceeds from the stew will help support MCFA’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers program which purchases fish directly from fishermen and donates it to schools, food banks and community groups.

The stew is currently available at Fork Food Lab and at Free Range Fish and Lobster in Portland. Check the MCFA website for an updated list of retail locations.

Maine Scallop Aquaculture

The New York Times has published an article about scallop aquaculture in Maine.

You certainly couldn’t tell that, just below the waves slapping against the hull, there were hundreds of thousands of sea scallops, swimming, squirting and cavorting in a series of nets, all part of Mr. Brewer’s aquatic farm.

Mr. Brewer and his son, Bob, pulled up a long algae-covered net and scooped scallops into a bucket of seawater, where they zipped around, moving a whole lot faster than you’d think bivalves could. Most would go to Glidden Point Oyster Farms. The rest were about to become lunch.

Sea Urchin Aquaculture

The Press Herald has published a report on Maine’s sea urchin fishery, and efforts to develop an sea urchin aquaculture industry.

Though sea urchins may seem an unlikely focus for Maine’s burgeoning aquaculture industry, “uni,” also known as urchin roe or gonads, is considered a delicacy in many Asian and some European markets. Steve Eddy, director of the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, believes urchin could become a valuable economic driver for the Northeast region.

Oyster Aquaculture in Phippsburg

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about John Herrigel, his family, and the oyster aquaculture business he operates in Phippsburg. Herrigel is the founder of the Maine Oyster Company restaurant in West Bayside.

John Herrigel’s is one of them. Herrigel, 41, founder and co-owner of Maine Oyster Co. in Portland and owner of Cape Small Oysters in Phippsburg, is working to restore some of the community lost to gentrification by investing in aquaculture and the public’s growing appetite for Maine-grown oysters. His parents, who live in Bath and moved to Maine from New Jersey, own the old general store building and the wharf it sits on. Herrigel, who lives in the village, uses it as his oyster basecamp. He keeps his boats there for his oyster farm in Small Point Harbor, and sells oysters to-go, hosts shuck-and-slurp parties on the wharf in the summer, and leads hands-on boat tours of his oyster-growing operation and oyster farms in the New Meadows River.

Portland Fish Exchange

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about the Portland Fish Exchange and an effort to determine its future.

Suggestions range from reevaluating the confusing governance structure (the quasi-public nonprofit Fish Exchange is governed by a board of directors and the fish pier is governed by the Fish Pier Authority), bringing freezing and more processing services to the pier, including more species in the auction, and redesigning it to handle smaller lots. Some have suggested opening a public boat-to-table-style market, similar to Pike Place in Seattle. 

Interview with Emily’s Oysters

Femidish has interviewed Emily Selinger about her aquaculture business and oyster CSA, Emily’s Oysters.

Femidish is a new Maine podcast that seeks to “Elevat[e] the stories of women and their unique abilities to nourish themselves and one another. Conversations about food through a feminist lens.”

Emily’s Oysters was founded in 2018 in Freeport. Their oysters are available via a CSA, and at the Wednesday Portland Farmers’ Market.

The Climate Change Diet

The Press Herald has taken a look at how the foods that are grown, raised and caught in Maine will shift under the impact of climate change.

Beef, pork and lamb probably won’t disappear from restaurant menus, but could be locally raised or grown in a laboratory to avoid the big carbon footprint of factory farms (why we’re already being urged to eat less meat). Don’t worry about your Sunday brunch of blueberry pancakes slathered in maple syrup, with a side of hash browns. Blueberries, maple syrup and potatoes – all traditional Maine foods – probably aren’t going anywhere in the next 50 years, according to agricultural experts. (After that, we’ll need a bigger crystal ball.)

Aquaculture Business Development Program

Mainebiz has published a report on the Island Institute’s Aquaculture Business Development program.

“Maine’s emerging aquaculture industry has a lot of opportunity and growth potential. The Aquaculture Business Development program provides both the academic and experiential learning tools to enter that growing arena,” Peter Piconi, marine business specialist with the Island Institute, said in the release. “More importantly, fisherman can diversify their income which, in turn, helps island and coastal economies thrive. We are excited to help a new group of individuals gain the tools they need to launch their aquaculture businesses.”