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Mussel farm meeting attracts unhappy crowd

MAINE - Most people attending a Department of Marine Resources (DMR) scoping session at the Blue Hill Town Hall last week were opposed to a proposal for another mussel farm in Blue Hill Bay.

According to DMR Aquaculture Policy Coordinator Samantha Horn Olson, scoping sessions are supposed to provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas between someone considering applying for an aquaculture lease and the public. In theory, the aspiring fish farmer can take the public’s comments into account before going to the expense of filing a formal, and difficult to modify, aquaculture lease application.

The purpose of last week’s meeting was to give Mount Desert resident Erick Swanson a chance to describe his family company’s plans to expand its mussel farming operation off the eastern shore of Long Island and to allow the public to question him about the proposal. According to Swanson, Maine Cultured Mussels Inc. wants a 36-acre lease to grow mussels from suspended ropes. The new site would be located about 1,000 feet off the shore of the island and the same distance south of the company’s existing 51.4-acre mussel farm. Swanson said that, if the lease were approved, Maine Cultured Mussels would terminate its lease on 54 acres off Tinker Island in lower Blue Hill Bay.

Source: TheEllsworthAmerican