Rockland- Thursday, March 5, 2015 was Shellfish Day at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum. Dozens of people showed up to hear academics, government representatives, and fishermen speak about the shellfish industry. Topics in the morning included red tides, economic losses from wastewater treatment plant closures, using technical and applied marine science to support management decisions, and action planning. Afternoon topics focused on viral indicators and shellfish sanitation, clam projects in Freeport, and clam farming in Maine. Click to view the Frenchman Bay Partners presentation, Working Together to Get Things Done.
The Frenchman Bay Partners (hereafter Partners) are a diverse group of people who help organizations in the watershed work together for ecosystem health and marine-based livelihoods. The Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee (hereafter Shellfish Committee) formed in 2009 in response to widespread red-tide closures to manage the intertidal mudflat resources in the 7 towns in the ordinance. The respective missions of two organizations address the long-term stewardship of the region’s resources. The two groups have been working together since 2011.
Everyone has been hearing a lot about green crabs and their destructive nature these days. Frenchman Bay definitely has its share of them. Green crabs are an invasive species from Europe that were unintentionally introduced to the Eastern shores of America in the 1800s. Their numbers have been increasing ever since.
Maine Sea Grant sponsored a Green Crab Summit at University of Maine in December 2013. Many Frenchman Bay Partners were in attendance. The presentations provided a lot of detail about green crabs, their life history, and their impacts on shellfish populations and as well as salt marshes and seagrass beds. They can be viewed at http://www.seagrant.umaine.edu/green-crab-summit. Several Frenchman Bay Partners, including representatives of the Bar Harbor Shellfish Committee, MDI Bio Lab, and Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee participated in a one-day, state-wide survey of green crabs last summer, focusing their sampling efforts in Bar Harbor, Lamoine, Trenton, Sorrento and Sullivan. The results of the survey can be found on the Maine DMR website . The report concludes that green crabs are present throughout the state and in numbers that represent a detrimental impact to bivalve shellfish.