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July 28, 2017

Brunswick shellfish harvester to try state's first clam farm

A Brunswick shellfish harvester awaits word from the Maine Department of Marine Resources about his proposal to lease an acre of intertidal land in the New Meadows watershed to establish an experimental clam farm.

The Forecaster reported that harvester Chris Green and Harbormaster Dan Devereaux hope the experiment will provide not only an income for Green and his partner Peter Holman, but also become a model for introducing clam seed in a controlled environment.

According to Manomet, which is partnering with Green on the project, the town voted to allow the application to proceed to DMR, which will review the application and issue a decision based on its review process.

The wild soft shell clam fishery has been destabilized by predators like invasive green crabs and milky ribbon worms.

Green previously seeded a half-acre of clams. His new project is unique in that his lease is solely intertidal for the purpose of raising clams — an emerging aquaculture strategy, Manomet scientist Ethel Wilkerson told the newspaper. Wilkerson will collect data such as growth and survival rates to determine the project’s long-term feasibility.

Manomet’s goal to understand if this method of farming is “financially viable, not just technically possible,” she said.

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