Monday, August 3, 2015

Is this the future of clamming?

In this week's Maine Sunday Telegram, I write about an experimental, commercial-scale, owner operated clam farm intended to empower clam diggers and save an allegedly imperiled resource. Some diggers and clam scientists love it, others fear it, and with the future of the commons at stake, everyone has a strong opinion.

Here's a taste:

Behold Maine’s first commercial-scale soft-shell clam farm, an experimental project that aims to test whether a single owner-operated farm can earn a worthwhile return for clam diggers who heretofore relied exclusively on the whims of nature to earn a living from the seafloor. If it works, it could revolutionize Maine’s second most valuable fishery, enhance the livelihoods of diggers and stop the assault of the green crabs in their tracks.

But the project has been contentious here in Georgetown, a coastal community 6 miles south of Bath, where some clam diggers fear that self-employed clam diggers like Warner and themselves will eventually be pushed out by corporate growers if the succulent mollusks are farmed rather than gathered in the wild.
I also got to do something I haven't in a while: do a photo shoot. The scenic environment in Georgetown, Maine made it easy.

Photo credit/copyright: Colin Woodard.

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