DMR denies addition of oysters and urchins at Frenchman Bay kelp farm

GOULDSBOROThe Department of Marine Resources denied a Gouldsboro-based seaweed farmer’s application to add American oysters and green sea urchins to her kelp farm near Stave Island.  

Springtide Seaweed sought to deploy 925 lantern nets suspended on longlines 20 feet below the surface at the western edge of the site in Frenchman Bay. Sarah Redmond, the owner of Springtide, proposed to reduce the length and total number of marine algae longlines that are currently at the site to make up for the additions. 

But the DMR balked at the request to keep the longlines and lantern nets in the water yearround, even if they are 20 feet down. The current lease only allows the longlines to be in the water between Sept. 1 and June 29 of each year. This amendment isn’t compatible with the original lease and could hurt fishing in the area, the agency wrote in its denial.  

“The year-round presence of the new proposed longlines is significant, as lobster fishing and dragging is prohibited within the boundaries of the lease site during the times when the longlines are deployed,” the DMR wrote in its April 16 denial. “Therefore, the request to deploy longlines throughout the year would result in a change to the original lease conditions and therefore cannot be granted…”  

In an email to the Islander, Redmond said she still planned to pursue the amendments to her lease and will now just have to resubmit an adapted version of her previous application. 

Ethan Genter

Ethan Genter

Former reporter for the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander, Ethan covered maritime news and the town of Bar Harbor.

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