PRESS RELEASE

MAY 25, 2018 | Hallowell, Maine
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Sebastian Belle to be featured speaker at 2018 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference: On Land and Sea! being held in Portland, Maine on June 25-29, 2018

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) is holding their annual conference in Maine this summer. Over 480 teachers from around the U.S. have registered to attend this sold out conference. The Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) has been involved with the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom program for the past 17 years and has participated in their annual Summer Teacher’s Institute by taking teachers on tours of aquaculture farms from Eastport to Scarborough. MAA also participates in their annual Read “ME” Agriculture program in which the Aquaculture for ME book, lessons and activities reach over 100,000 Maine students annually.

Three aquaculture workshops will be held during the week long conference. The first is a trip aboard the Lucky Catch to Calendar Island Mussel Farm in Casco Bay, the second is a visit to the Gulf of Maine Research Center and the last is a visit to the University of New England seaside campus in Biddeford to experience the aquaculture center and explore the many career opportunities aquaculture has to offer.

Aquaculture is Agriculture: Sewing the Seeds for a New Generation of Farmers is the title of Sebastian’s presentation during the opening luncheon. Maine has one of the longest coastlines in any state in the country. With hundreds of bays and islands to shelter farms from the powerful North Atlantic storms, Maine is a great place to start farming the ocean. Maine’s cold, clean waters help farms grow healthy, high quality seafood. Maine’s marine farmers grow shellfish, finfish, and sea vegetables. Americans want more farmed salmon and the Maine industry can deliver as we continue to improve and innovate to meet the increasing demand for our products. Maine aquaculture is ready to grow and play a major role in reversing our country’s seafood trade deficit. We know that Maine’s aquaculture industry is having a major impact on the prosperity of our coastal communities and working waterfronts and that the Maine brand is well respected by customers all over the United States.

A salmon dinner is planned, courtesy of Cooke Aquaculture, during the conference which will give the teachers an opportunity to sample some of Maine’s delicious farm-raised salmon.

About Maine Aquaculture Association
Founded in 1976, the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) is the oldest state aquaculture association in the country. Its members grow finfish, shellfish and sea vegetables in both fresh and saltwater using a variety of innovative farming methods. The MAA and its member growers are widely recognized as pioneers in the development of innovative and sustainable farming methods designed to enhance their stewardship of Maine’s pristine aquatic environments. Through a 14-point set of environmental guiding principles,cooperative area management agreements, continuous member improvement training and third party audited best management practices MAA and its members are leading the way in the development of new and environmentally sustainable ways to provide America with healthy, fresh seafood.

Press contact:

Sebastian Belle Executive Director
Maine Aquaculture Association Tel. (207) 622-0136
Maineaquaculture.com




PRESS RELEASE

Download Press Release as PDF Here

Maine Farmed Atlantic Salmon for the President

The Maine Aquaculture Association is proud to announce that Maine’s ocean farm raised Atlantic Salmon was chosen to be on the menu for today’s Inauguration events in Washington.

“We know that Maine’s aquaculture industry is having a major impact on the prosperity of our coastal communities and working waterfronts and that the Maine brand is well respected by customers all over the United States,” says Sebastian Belle, the association’s Executive Director. “To have farmed salmon that were raised in the State of Maine served to President Trump, Governor LePage and to those celebrating today’s Inauguration, is a real honor and affirmation of our healthy, high quality, sustainably produced farmed seafood.”

Fresh Maine salmon were individually hand selected for the President from the cool, clear waters of Cooke Aquaculture USA’s ‘Deep Cove’ marine farm site, one of the State’s oldest salmon farms near Eastport, Maine. These fish were raised from small eggs to “smolts” at one of Maine’s freshwater hatcheries before transfer to the Deep Cove marine site. They were harvested and packaged for shipment at the True North Salmon Processing facility in Machiasport. In Washington, the salmon were smoked by the Executive Chef of the Blair House and will be served this evening to guests, including President Trump.

“Many of the men and women who raised these fish are long-term employees with a lifetime of experience on the water and proud contributors to the local economy,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture USA. “They took great pride in selecting beautiful fish for the trip to Washington. Our company has a keen interest in promoting the Maine Brand, in the future of the State’s economy, the health of its communities and its people and the health of the US seafood sector.”
Cooke employs approximately 250 people in Downeast Maine in its fully integrated salmon farming operations. As the largest employer and taxpayer in the City of Eastport and a major employer in Machiasport, the company is a key contributor to the State’s economy.

“Maine seafood is the best in the world and it’s a great honor to know that the Maine brand, which reflects our pristine environment and world-class quality, will be represented during the inauguration,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
The United States is the third largest market for seafood in the world but ranks fifteenth in terms of aquaculture production importing 91% of its seafood. Maine is within a 24-hour truck ride from over 150 million customers and has over 190 farms that raise finfish, shellfish and marine plants with a total economic impact of $137 million.
“Americans want more farmed Atlantic salmon and the Maine industry can deliver as we continue to improve and innovate to meet the increasing demand for our products, “said Belle. “Maine aquaculture is ready to grow and play a major role in reversing our country’s seafood trade deficit.”

About Maine Aquaculture Association
Founded in 1976 the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) is the oldest state aquaculture association in the country. Its members grow finfish, shellfish and sea vegetables in both fresh and saltwater using a variety of innovative farming methods. The MAA and its member growers are widely recognized as pioneers in the development of innovative and sustainable farming methods designed to enhance their stewardship of Maine’s pristine aquatic environments. Through a 14 point set of environmental guiding principles, cooperative area management agreements, continuous member improvement training and third party audited best management practices MAA and its members are leading the way in the development of new and environmentally sustainable ways to provide America with healthy, fresh seafood.

Press contact:

Sebastian Belle Executive Director
Maine Aquaculture Association Tel. (207) 622-0136
Maineaquaculture.com