Climatic and non-climatic factors are affecting fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Unfortunately, many fishermen currently rely on a single-species fishery – the American lobster – and do not have the ability to switch from one fishery to another due to allocations and limited permits. To address possible loss of income from wild harvest in a changing climate, the Island Institute, Maine Sea Grant, Maine Aquaculture Association, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, and Coastal Enterprises Inc., developed the Aquaculture in Shared Waters program to help fishermen diversify to aquaculture of shellfish and seaweed. Many Maine fishermen have already started aquaculture ventures, producing high quality seafood and successful income diversification. The program educates fishermen on the advantages of aquaculture, especially due to increased shellfish demand in the region, and the ease of diversifying income during periods of either low harvest or low economic value of harvest. The program helps fishermen start an aquaculture venture to diversify income and addresses Maine’s unique economic opportunity the region in establishing links to tourism and culinary industries. The program, funded by the National Sea Grant Program, includes training on site selection, equipment and husbandry, permitting and regulation, environmental monitoring, marketing and sales, farm management and biosecurity, and business planning and financial management.
Key strategies and actions:
- Diversity fisheries and/or livelihoods (e.g., ecotourism, promote new fishing opportunities for non-native and invasive species)
Score, A. 2016c. Aquaculture in Shared Waters. Summary of a project from Maine Sea Grant produced for EcoAdapt’s State of Adaptation Program. Last updated August 2016.