Media report on Morse’s scallop aquaculture research

The Portland Press Herald and Global Aquaculture Advocate cited research by Dana Morse, a scientist with Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in articles on Mainers testing a Japanese method to farm scallops. Maine sea farmers hope the “ear-hanging” technique will grow larger mollusks faster than current methods do, according to the Press Herald. The method calls for drilling a hole in the “ear” of the scallop shell — one of two flat corners of the shell near the hinge — so that it can be tied to a submerged line for grow-out, Global Aquaculture Advocate reported. Morse visited Aomori, Japan in 1999 and came back with the belief that scallop aquaculture would offer the state fishing industry much needed economic and species diversification, the Press Herald reported. Morse is now studying growth rates, biotoxin accumulation rates, biofouling, and yield and market value of ear-hanged scallops at several state-sanctioned lease sites around Maine, including near UMaine’s Darling Marine Center on the Damariscotta River, the article states. “Since early March of this year we are already seeing very strong growth rates with scallops,” Morse said. “We’re very optimistic.”