Oyster Farmers, Lobster Haulers Take Their Turf Battle to Maine State House

Consideration of a bill that would establish a task force to study aquaculture sustainability across Maine evolved on Tuesday into a familiar squabble between those financially invested in the budding industry and fishing professionals who feel their livelihood is under siege.

With her bill, Rep. Jay McCreight, D-Harpswell, wants to form a bipartisan task force to research the current aquaculture production levels, capacity, best practices and its environmental impacts. If the bill passes, the task force would submit its findings to the Marine Resources and Environment and Natural Resources committees by Dec. 11.

Coastal aquaculture has not been studied by the state since 2003, McCreight told members of the Marine Resources Committee during a public hearing, saying, “it’s important we take another deep dive … to consider the impacts of climate change and mitigation strategies, [and] to look at potential for economic growth.”

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