DV-09-010 Herring Gut Egg-to-Plate Initiative
Herring Gut Learning Center
PO Box 286, 9 Factory Road
Port Clyde, ME 04855
With many stocks of wild seafood in decline, aquaculture provides a sustainable source of local, healthy food. The Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde trained two local science classes in fish and produce production as part of the “egg to plate initative.” Sea Grant funding supported equipment and supply upgrades to an existing aquaponics system that was then utilized by 26 students to produce 62 pounds of tilapia and 35 pounds of basil, lettuce, and bok choi that were sold to the local vocational school, where 30 students prepared meals using the fish and produce in their culinary class. Approximately 15 community members purchased greenhouse produce from July through January. Broodstock tilapia were provided to the Maine State Veterinarian, a local commercial aquaponics enterprise, and a professor at Colby College to set up an aquaponics system at the school. Facility and equipment upgrades enabled by Sea Grant reduced heating and electric costs in the greenhouse and finfish hatchery by up to one-half and improved water quality and waste management. Increased fish and produce production provided the schools and community with a reliable source of locally grown food, and created a supply of tilapia broodstock for educational and commercial facilities throughout the region. System improvements led to cost-savings that reduced the amount of funding required to provide Herring Gut education programs.