Growing Bay Scallops on a Maine Oyster Farm as a Strategy to Diversify Crops and Adapt to a Warming Gulf

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2023: $21,592.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Winnegance Oyster Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
Jordan Kramer
Winnegance Oyster Farm


  • Animals: shellfish


  • Animal Production: aquaculture
  • Crop Production: intercropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Pest Management: physical control

    Proposal summary:

    This project aims to reduce the risks of farming a monoculture by introducing bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) to a Maine oyster farm. Bay scallops were chosen as a secondary crop species, in part as a climate adaptation strategy. The Gulf of Maine is warming at one of the fastest rates in the world. Bay scallops are more southerly species that is already making inroads in Maine waters. These scallops have a high market value and could be sold by oyster farmers through their existing networks of dealers. Scallops can also be grown deeper in the water column than oysters by using lantern nets. This would enable farmers to add to existing crops instead of displacing them.

    To address the high biofouling loads that make handling lantern nets difficult (seen in other regions, and locally with a different scallop species), this project will utilize a novel lantern net drying raft.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) This project aims to test whether bay scallops can be grown in rapidly warming Maine waters. Our approach will use techniques that were developed to grow bay scallops in their traditional range, and to grow sea scallops locally. Success will be gauged by growth rates and survivorship from planting in July 2023 until 16 months of age.

    2) The proposed work aims to address biofouling and handling issues associated with lantern nets (the most successful grow-out gear used in other trials), by building a raft that allows scallops to stay submerged while portions of nets are air-dried. Fouling species on nets will be recorded and compared to those seen elsewhere on the farm.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.