Clam seed donation benefits Harpswell shell beds and water

Left to right Isaac Meyers, Bailey Rahn, Jess Giles, Drew Shane, Jake Torok, Harpswell Select Chairman Kevin Johnson, Marine Resources Committee Chairman David Wilson and volunteer Travis Wilson with the seed donation from clams from Running Tide. Karl Eschholz from Running Tide picture

This week, the town of Harpswell received a donation of about half a million quahog seeds from Running Tide Shellfish Hatchery, based at Mitchell Field. The donation aims to improve the local clam fishery and encourage population growth in the future by placing a portion of the seed in areas closed to harvesting. The additional shells also provide an environmental benefit by increasing the number of filter feeders in the coastal ecosystem.

“The Town of Harpswell is extremely grateful for Running Tide’s donation of quahog seed,” Harbor Master Paul Plummer said in a news release. “The Harpswell Marine Resources Committee, together with Harpswell licensed shellfish harvesters, intend to grow the seeds to a size less susceptible to predation, before planting them in the wild mudflats later this fall. In recent years, anglers have seen a decline in the clam resource due to predation, climate change, or all of the above. Hopefully, this seed donated to the town will help spread the wild quahog resource for Harpswell residents and gatherers.

The town of Harpswell issues about 74 shellfish harvesting permits a year, and shellfish are an important source of income for many in the community, according to a town release.

“We are proud to work with the Town of Harpswell to replenish local quahog beds,” said Adam Baske, Shells and Restoration Manager at Running Tide. “Restoration efforts like this show how the aquaculture and wild shellfish sectors can work together for the good of the waterfront and our coastal ecosystems. We look forward to working more with Harpswell and other communities in the future. »

While Running Tide’s shellfish harvesting is the most visible aspect of the business in the Harpswell area, the company is engaged in an international effort to combat climate change and restore coastal ecosystems. In recent years, Running Tide has grown to over 100 employees, 70 of whom are based in Maine, including engineers, marine biologists, welders, computer scientists, marine professionals and lab technicians.

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