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March 4, 2019
To the Editor

Aquaculture has long history of fitting in

Paul Dioli in his letter to the editor [in the print edition of Feb. 18] suggests that aquaculture must fit in with other coastal activities such as commercial fishing and tourism. He is right, Maine law mandates that aquaculture not conflict with those activities. What Mr. Dioli of Maquoit Bay LLC fails to mention is that aquaculture has a long history fitting in with other activities along Maine's coast. As part of the working waterfront and Maine's tourism industry, Maine aquaculture has contributed significantly to the diversification of Maine's coastal economy. In fact, aquaculture has often increased not decreased revenues in those other sectors. Scenic tour companies and kayak rental outfits routinely use aquaculture farms as unique attractions to talk about Maine's iconic working waterfront and how it is evolving in the face of a changing environment. Many fishermen are starting farms to hedge against the ups and downs of wild fisheries. Once a farm is in place fishermen often find that the fishing improves around the farm because the farm provides structure, habitat and prey where there wasn't any before.

Sebastian M. Belle, executive director, Maine Aquaculture Association, Hallowell

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