- Animals: shellfish
- Animal Production: aquaculture
The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Mainers who make a living from the sea. Marine resource diversification is essential for adapting to this rapid change and ultimately promoting economic resilience for Maine’s coastal communities. Quahogs, or hard-shell clams, present an opportunity for diversification within both aquaculture and wild shellfish industries as waters have warmed and conditions have become more hospitable to quahog growth and survival. We aim to test a new method of intertidal quahog aquaculture that could be an opportunity for sea farmers to expand their operations and diversify their crops, as well as a method for supporting municipal shellfish wild stock enhancement activities. Our specific objectives are to 1) test multiple intertidal quahog grow out techniques, 2) harvest and/or distribute for stock enhancement and quantify production costs, and 3) conduct outreach to share findings and grow industry knowledge. We will conduct this work with partners in two locations; Eros Oyster Farm in Georgetown, ME, and in Brunswick, ME with the Brunswick Municipal Shellfish Committee and local shellfish harvesters. If successful, we will have demonstrated that growing quahogs in the intertidal is a viable strategy for aquaculture crop diversification, as well as wild stock enhancement.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project seeks to test a new method of intertidal quahog aquaculture in Maine.
Our specific objectives are:
Objective 1: Test multiple intertidal quahog grow out techniques to determine best practices.
- 1.1: Deploy intertidal experiments.
- 1.2: Monitor quahog growth and survival.
- 1.3: Measure environmental variables.
Objective 2: Harvest and/or distribute for stock enhancement and quantify production costs.
- 2.1: Harvest farmed product.
- 2.2: Distribute quahogs for stock enhancement.
Objective 3: Conduct outreach to share findings and grow industry knowledge
- 3.1: Outreach through existing networks and partnerships.
- 3.2: Field demonstrations.
- 3.3: Outreach through social media, newsletter articles, Manomet’s website, and traditional news media.
If successful, this will be an opportunity for sea farmers to expand their operations and diversify their crops, as well as a method for supporting municipal shellfish wild stock enhancement activities.