A small but growing number of entrepreneurs are creating sea-farming operations that cultivate shellfish together with kelp and seaweed, a combination they contend can restore ecosystems and mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification.
For Bill Mook, coastal acidification is one thing his oyster hatchery cannot afford to ignore.
Mook Sea Farm depends on seawater from the Gulf of Maine pumped into a Quonset hut-style building where tiny oysters are grown in tanks. Mook sells these tiny oysters to other oyster farmers or transfers them to his oyster farm on the Damariscotta River where they grow large enough to sell to restaurants and markets on the East Coast.
Over ninety percent of Maine's oyster harvest comes from the Damariscotta River.
Mook Sea Farm in Walpole has been operating along the river for over thirty years and owner Bill Mook is worried about the impact of ocean acidification on his crop.