WABI visits CCAR in report on aquaculture in Maine

WABI (Channel 5) visited the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin for a report about aquaculture. “In the last say two to five years, the number of sea farmers in Maine has really exploded,” said Susan Brawley, a UMaine professor in the School of Marine Sciences. Her work at CCAR focuses on kelp and other sea vegetables, WABI reported. “Our water is pure, and in the fall through spring, it has a lot of nutrients,” she says. “And that’s one of the things that we think is attractive to having people begin to become sea farmers of sea vegetables. Some of them will be involved in other types of marine harvest, and this gives them a different seasonal crop.” In addition to research, the center serves as an incubator for aquaculture entrepreneurs, the report states. “We allow new companies that are interested in working with new species to come here and run trials, to train their crew, to do some small-scale commercial production so they have something to show to potential investors,” said CCAR director Steve Eddy. “We have all the infrastructure here to help those businesses get started,” added Melissa Malmstedt, assistant hatchery manager and education and outreach coordinator at CCAR. “We can help them with business plans and system designs.” UMaine also was mentioned in the first part of the “Farming the Sea” segment, which featured a lobsterman who took a UMaine course on aquaculture a few years ago.