Researchers (including Sea Grant extension associate Dana Morse) are studying isolated oyster grounds in the Sheepscot River that may date back to the last ice age. Meanwhile, as the aquaculture industry has grown and coastal water temperatures have warmed, cultured oysters have begun to multiply on their own elsewhere, particularly in the brackish waters of the Damariscotta River.
“There isn’t anything more special than Maine seafood,” said fisherman Kristan Porter, kicking off a culinary afternoon at the 2015 Maine Fishermen’s Forum.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Forum, seafood industry partners invited four established chefs to share their cooking knowledge of Maine seafood.
Forty years ago, fish harvested by Maine fishermen stayed local, only traveling perhaps as far as Boston or New York. The Gulf of Maine fishery was dominated by fleets of foreign fishing vessels, factories at sea that fished harder than anyone before. Even at Gorton's in Gloucester, Massachusetts, 40% of the cod came from Polish boats.
Over the holidays this year, my family and I decided it was time for a trip beyond Downeast Maine. We crossed the border at Calais and drove on to Black’s Harbor, New Brunswick (Canada) to catch the ferry to Grand Manan, an island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. I’d been to Grand Manan on a few occasions, once for a wedding ceremony overlooking the sea and its fishing boats. On Grand Manan, life is still timed by the sea.
If the air is still and cold enough, great wisps of sea smoke hover and drift above the water surface. That “smoke” actually is water vapor that forms when really cold air moves over relatively warmer water and the thin boundary layer of warm air just above the surface. When the evaporating water rises, the cold air can only hold so much moisture, forcing the liquid to condense into fog. Clouds rise like smoke from the sea’s surface, dispersing and reforming, turning bays and coves into ephemeral cauldrons of submarine fire.