Wicasset Development Organization Awarded $300,000 Aquaculture Grant

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit corporation established by the 2014 Farm Bill, has awarded Coastal Enterprises Inc. a $300,000 research grant to investigate the economic viability of a Japanese scallop production technique, known as ear-hung scallop nets, that has been shown to grow scallops faster and produce larger meat yields.

Ear hung Scallops located i the Damariscotta River. Photo courtesy of the Portland Press Harald.

The organization will provide an equal $300,000 match to the grant.
In 2017, according to Department of Marine Resources, Maine scallop harvesters landed the most scallops since 1997, bringing ashore 793,544 meat pounds, a nearly 45% jump from 2016. Scallop landings in 2017 had the highest overall value since 1993 ($9.3 million). Given the high commercial value of sea scallops in the global seafood trade and the growing trend of sourcing sustainably harvested seafood products, CEI believes that there is great opportunity for farm-raised scallops in Maine.