Lobstermen Retooling as Oyster Farmers

(p. A10) COREA, Me. — The boats start up around 3:30 in the morning, stirring the village with the babble of engines before they motor out to sea. They will return hours later, loaded with lobster.
Joe Young’s boat has not gone out lately. Instead, he puts on waders and sloshes into the salt pond behind his house, an inlet where water rushes in and out with the tides. After a lifetime with most of his income tied to what he finds in the sea, this lobsterman — and sixth-generation fisherman — is trying his hand at something new. He is farming oysters.
“Said I would never have a garden,” Mr. Young, 64, says, as he tends to his briny nursery. Tens of thousands of oysters the size of peanuts are growing inside porous boxes, stacked up like underwater file drawers, in a contraption called an “oyster condo.” He gives one of the boxes a shake, hoping to dislodge a slimy orange growth that has taken up residence, and flings away a green crab. Nearby, kelp he is growing sways lazily from a long underwater rope.
Reaching into the glassy water, Mr. Young plucks larger oysters from among the smooth stones, popping the mottled mollusks into a big white bucket.
“It’s different from lobstering,” Mr. Young said, “because I’m in the whole process.”
. . .
“Lobstermen are saying, ‘Boy, not (p. A11) only personally, but community level, we’re all invested in lobsters,’ ” Jon Lewis, the director of the state’s aquaculture division, said. ” ‘Natural resources tend to come and go. If this happens, what do I do?’ ”
. . .
To Mr. Young, aquaculture does not look so different from catching lobsters. “Fishermen are farmers,” he said. “There’s one crop, and it’s lobster.”

For the full story, see:
JESS BIDGOOD. “A Lobsterman Tries a New Line: Oyster Farmer.” The New York Times (Mon., OCT. 23, 2017): A10-A11.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date OCT. 10, 2017, and has the title “A FISHERMAN TRIES FARMING.”)

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