Martime Shorts: Application renewal hearing, scholarship money

Public hearing set for salmon farm application renewal 

FRENCHBORO — The state Department of Marine Resources is holding a public hearing next month to take evidence on two renewal applications for Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon pen sites off Black Island.  

The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Southwest Harbor Fire Department and is proposed to gather testimony specific to the renewal criteria, according to the DMR.  

People wishing to testify should register with the DMR by Oct. 24. A form can be found on the department website. Parties wishing to intervene have the same deadline.  

Cooke is one of the largest aquaculture companies in the state and wishes to continue growing Atlantic salmon at the site. The applications also list cod, haddock, halibut and blue mussels as potential species.  

The sites made the news this summer after a mass fish die-off was reported. About 115,000 salmon died in the pens in August. Company officials said it was due to uncommonly low dissolved oxygen.  

The state Department of Environmental Protection was alerted to the issue nearly two weeks later and found no violations after a subsequent investigation. There were low-level readings at a single net pen site around the time of the die-off.  

The fish were later brought to a compost site in Tremont.  


Students to use scholarship money for research 

BAR HARBOR — Four local college students were among 12 across the state who were awarded marine science scholarships by Maine Sea Grant.  

The students were awarded a $1,000 scholarship and will be invited to attend Sea Grant-sponsored workshops, conferences and other events related to marine and coastal work. 

Bailey Tausen and Sneha Suresh, both undergraduates at the College of the Atlantic, and Haley Kent and Phoebe Churney, of Maine Maritime Academy, won the scholarships.  

Tausen planned to use the scholarship to support her work on planktonic health and abundance survey around Mount Desert Rock; Suresh said it would help fund her research on common loons, including behavior on Mount Desert Island lakes; Kent would use it to further her research and allow her to volunteer on a Coast Guard cutter or federal research vessel; and Churney would use it to support her scuba diving certification and senior research preparation. 

Our 2021 undergraduate scholarship recipients provide a snapshot of the talent, skill and potential we are seeing across the state,” said Maine Sea Grant Assistant Director of Research Jessica Jansujwicz. “We hope the scholarships help cultivate the kinds of hands-on learning experiences and career development opportunities that will set these students up for success in whichever field they pursue.” 

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