10 S P R I N G ISSUE MainelyAgriculture || Equi Ag & Livestock || Aqua Agriculture 2015

Our need for a third generation port

A Maine seaport to serve export and
import operations for all types of general
cargo, bulk and container handling, needs
a rail and transportation system with modern
bulk moving equipment and technology
to multi-task all visiting shipping need.
Rail and adequate road transport to and
from such a seaport to accommodate the
super-ships of this new century is crucial
to allow for transshipment, short term
grain or bulk storage facilities, bunkering,
shipyard and dry dock capacities for
expansion. These are all things the east
ports of New York, Norfolk,
Baltimore, Charleston and Savannah are
already planning to rebuild, dredge, and
accommodate as the so called
generation port comes to fruition in the
21st Century. Billions will be spent by
these ports to compete for the next decade’s
shipping needs.

already brought in with new ocean shipping
from northern Europe and Iceland and
may soon provide a 7 day turn around
service to Europe. The new rail line to
the International Terminal in Portland is
the first step planned for the coming year
and mirrors the dire need for rail service
for all Maine ports. Additionally, planning
is underway in Robbinston by a company
called Downeast LNG to have a mooring
terminal for a bidirectional LNG facility

As with very few other coastal states,
Maine has some of these shipping factors
at one or more ports on a small scale.
Portland is doing well to gear up for
increased container activity there to go
beyond the increased traffic Eimskip has

The Maine Fishermen’s Forum has
again offered scholarships to students from
Maine’s commercial family fishing industry, March 6 at Samoset Resort. Applicants
must be in at least their second year of
college (or trade school) with an immediate
family member involved in Maine’s fishing
industry. Prior winners were not eligible.
Applications are available annually
www.mainefishermensforum.org or from coordinator: chilloa@taxbracket.com. To date,
more than $284,000 in scholarships have
been awarded, and in celebration of the Forum’s 40 thAnniversary this year, $40,000
was awarded as scholarships to: Mikel Acin,
Biddeford, York Community College;
Kasey Benner, Waldoboro, U of Mass.; Andrew Cox, Jonesboro, UMO; Sadia Crosby,
Georgetown, Roger Williams University;
Lauren Crosby, Georgetown, UMF; Aaron
Doughty, Phippsburg, Maine Maritime; Tyler Greenlaw, Stockton Springs, UMO;
Hallie Harris, Eastport, UNE; Aston Harvey, Waldoboro, UMF; Lindsey Joyce,
Cushing, UMO; Amelia Joyce, Swans Island, Eastern Maine Community College;
Daniel Keliher, So Gardiner, Brown Univ.;
Morgan Merchant, Beals Island, Husson;
Jordan Shufeldt, Harpswell, Husson; Cody
Stewart, N Yarmouth, MMI Univ Technical
Institute; Emmaline Waldron, So Thomaston, USM; Elise Wallace, Rockland, UMO;
Tyler Warner, Cutler, Husson; Evan Whidden, Harpswell, UMO; and Brooke Wood,
Machiasport, UMPI.

Continued from previous page
towns from Machiasport to Addison (including Roque Bluffs, Jonesboro, Jonesport,
and Beals). Clams have always been an
important commercial resource providing
hundreds of jobs in coastal towns all along
the coast. During the mid-1980’s, clam
stocks began to dwindle for reasons that are
still poorly understood. Because the technology to produce clams and other bivalves
in a hatchery setting had been around for
decades, we decided to try our hand at becoming the first-ever public shellfish hatchery to produce clam seed for stock
enhancement purposes. So, in June 1987 at
a renovated clam shucking shack on the end
of a 200-ft wooden wharf jutting out into
Moosabec Reach (between Beals and Jonesport) we induced clam adults to spawn and
produce swimming larvae that eventually
became tiny, shelled, clam seed. Every year
since 1987, we have produced between 4-10
million juvenile soft-shell clams for communities who wish to enhance their flats
with cultured clam seed.
Adult clams typically spawn when seawater temperatures in the spring hit the 50o F
mark. Spawning occurs in waves from the
southwestern end of the state to the
downeast shores beginning in May in the
York/Kennebunk area and continuing into
mid-June/early July in Cobscook and Passamaquoddy Bays in the Eastport/Perry area.
Clams have separate sexes, and adults will
release their gametes into the water column
where fertilization occurs. In the hatchery,
we use a thermal shock (a rapid change in
seawater temperature from 50 o F - 70o F) to
induce adults to spawn. Swimming larvae
(small enough so that you could fit about 50
on the head of a pin) develop within 24
hours after fertilization. In 48 hours, the
first, delicate shell appears (thin enough so
that you can see right through it when looking at these animals under a microscope).
After about 16-18 days at seawater temperatures between 65-70oF, the larval clams lose
their ability to swim and settle to the bottom
of the vessels that we use to culture them in.
They are about 1/5thof a millimeter (200
microns), or approximately 1/25th of an inch

there to connect offloading liquid gas for
connection to the Northeast Pipeline going
to the Maritimes. To import, this facility
would re-gasify natural gas liquid and to
export, and liquefy any American gas
headed out. Maine does not have a port
that is a one stop shopping type port for
all, but Eastport’s potential as the deepest
port on the east coast stands above the
rest. Robbinston, at Head Harbor Passage
nearby, with a potential working LNG
facility privately developed could
compliment area transport requirements
to boost what is expected to be needed
long term. Especially if additional pipelines
are added, headed south to run such gas

in that direction or liquid gas hits the rails or
on road networks in multiple directions.
A A railroad right of way from Eastport to
Ayres Junction would connect this port to the
state rail system and from the port to at least as
far as Old Town, the potential first leg of a new
east west road already seems clear.
Dissatisfaction for the EW highway project
from Old Town west in parts of Penobscot and
Piscataquis County stumbles the project but the
principles behind such road building seem
confident a road will transect within a decade
even if it avoids municipalities presently
against the concept north or south of contested
territory. At Searsport, the recent defeat of the
natural gas expansion facility there by voters in
nearby municipalities mushroomed into
Continued to page 14

when they settle to the bottom. Clams, like
other living creatures, require constant food,
and we produce the food – single-celled
phytoplankton or marine algae – that they
use to survive and grow.
Hatchery started, marked, dug up from field

have transitioned to a
dwelling life,
them on very
feeding them
for another 46 weeks during
have reached a size where they will rest on
window screening. This is a size of about
0.08 inches, or roughly 2 millimeters. At
that size we place 10,000 animals at a time
into 4-ft x 3-ft wooden trays lined with
window screening along with a handful of
periwinkles (a marine snail), and deploy the
trays on the surface waters of a protected
cove nearby the DEI facility. From June to
November, the clams in the trays grow to an
average size of ½-inch. We have found that
planting the seed clams in November does
not yield the best results for several reasons:
1) clams do not grow between October and
April, so they burrow quite shallowly in the
mud; 2) they are very susceptible to predators (ducks, fish, crabs) when they reside
close to the top of the sediments; and 3) if
ice forms in the seeded areas, it could push
clams from the sediments or raft them out
wasting lots of time and effort to put them
there. So, instead of a late fall planting, we
overwinter the animals in our facility on
Great Wass Island and then they are ready
for a spring planting. Planting these delicate
clams must be done in conjunction with
protecting them (usually with a polypropylene flexible netting–1/6th inch mesh) or else
predators will consume the majority of

them. We have conducted numerous studies
over the years in various intertidal areas
along the coast to examine the effects of
predators on clams that are in protected vs.
unprotected plots and the results are stark.
Typically, predators are responsible for collectively consuming between 70-100% of
the clam seed within six months of planting
in unprotected plots. Netting can result in
80-90% survival to commercial size.
M More information about soft-shell clam
culture in the hatchery facility and results
from experimental trials can be found at:

Infrastructure projects
Maine transportation officials have been studying a Brewer-HoldenEddington connector highway since before
2000 and a recent Eddington select board
meeting put a positive spin on the planned
Interstate 395-Route 9 connector - called
2B2 - by signing a resolve in support of the
route defined to extend I-395 at the Wilson
Street junction and roughly follow the
Holden-Brewer town line until entering Eddington and connecting with 4.5 miles of a
to-be-rebuilt Route 9. There are two other
possible routes under study but opposition
thus far have taken MDOT by surprise but
all - according to the latest environment
impact statement - would have minimal
effects on the surrounding environment.

East West No, Again
Another Penquis area
town has extended a previous moratorium
against the unpopular privatized east-west
highway proposed by Cianbro Corporation
and others for an interstate style highway
from Eastport to Coburn Gore, here Feb.
17. Presently Dover-Foxcroft, Sangerville,
Parkman, Garland and Dexter are included
in the region not supporting the same concept. Monson has yet to reconsider extending a moratorium.

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