Seed clams (Mya arenaria) are measured as part of a mudflat restoration project. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE SHELLFISH LEARNING NETWORK

Shellfish Focus Day events planned

BAR HARBOR – Shellfish Focus Day is typically held the first day of the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum. This event is an opportunity for shellfish harvesters, shellfish wardens, municipal officials, nonprofit groups, researchers and others to meet and talk about issues facing the shellfish industry and how to conduct applied shellfish and other projects to strengthen the fishery.

Not wanting to miss out on this event this year after cancellation of the in-person forum, a diverse group of volunteers has put together three webinar/radio programs that will focus on important topics in Maine’s shellfish fisheries, including shellfish conservation projects, the value of multiple forms of knowledge about intertidal fisheries, and opportunities and issues in shellfish markets and supply chains. 

The first program, “Shellfish harvesting for the future: A conversation featuring stories and lessons learned in town shellfish conservation projects” will occur on Monday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. A recording of this event will be broadcast on the radio, on WERU’s Coastal Conversations, on Feb26 at 4 p.m.

This event will feature a conversation among shellfish harvesters, shellfish wardens, municipal officials, marine resource committee members and organizations that collaborate with towns on efforts to conserve and restore wild shellfish populations and intertidal mudflats. The topics will focus on efforts to grow clam seed using equipment such as upwellers, and lobster pounds, connections to water quality issues and how people are working together to restore shellfish and mudflats. People working on shellfish restoration projects from across the coast will tell stories and share information about what they have learned.  

The panelists for this first event are all working on projects to grow shellfish and restore intertidal mudflats in southern and downeast Maine, including David Wilson, chairman of Marine Resources Committee in Harpswell; Scott Moody Jr.vice chairman of Marine Resources Committee in Harpswell; Dan Devereaux, coastal resource manager in Brunswick; Mike Pinkham, shellfish warden in Gouldsboro; Sarah Hooper, education specialist at Schoodic Institute; and Bill Zoellick, education research director emeritus at Schoodic Institute. This first program will be hosted by Dr. Bridie McGreavy from the University of Maine’s department of communication and journalism and the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, and Natalie Springuel of Maine Sea Grant. 

This will be an online meeting using Zoom. Pre-registration is not necessary. Join at join by phone, dial (301) 715-8592 and enter the meeting ID: 893 3297 5035 and passcode: 116603.  

For more information, email McGreavy at [email protected]The next two programs will be aired in March and April. 

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