Down East magazine cites Morse, Bartlett in aquaculture article

Dana Morse and Chris Bartlett, professionals with the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine, were quoted in a Down East magazine article on the state’s aquaculture industry. Maine’s traditional fishing culture is on the verge of forced change, the article states, but fishermen have been wary of an aquacultural shift. In 2014, when Maine Sea Grant launched its Aquaculture in Shared Waters initiative — classes, field visits, and mentorship designed to help fishermen launch new sea farming projects — eight people took part. This year, enrollment grew to 15. “Believe it or not, I am fairly satisfied with the rate of change,” said Morse, who helps run the program. Every year, the program attracts a few more interested fishermen, but Morse says he knows aquaculture is “not ever going to be a perfect option, and it’s not ever going to be the silver bullet.”

Bartlett, a finfish aquaculture specialist, spoke about the aquaculture of Atlantic salmon. He said he remembers serving about 15 companies in Cobscook Bay alone when he started offering extension services to salmon farms in 1992. Over time, Bartlett said independent salmon farmers found economies of scale required continuing investment — bigger cages with more space in between them. To stay competitive, many opted to consolidate, while others sold out to large European companies, the article states.