Aquaculture lease hearing scheduled

STONINGTON — A proposal to grow oysters, sugar kelp and mussels on 3.26 acres southwest of Andrews Island is set for an Oct. 25 public hearing at 1 p.m. in the Stonington town office.

Robert Brewer, of Deer Isle, who currently farms scallops and sea algae on two leases in Deer Isle and one in Stonington, seeks a new standard, 20-year lease to grow up to 500,000 scallops, 3 tons of sugar kelp and 3 tons of mussels in Penobscot Bay using lantern nets, ear hanging and long lines and spat bags. No structures, fuel or hazardous materials will be stored on site, which will be tended two to three times weekly. The water depth at the site is 50 to 65 feet at the mean low water mark, with the long lines kept 20 feet underwater at low tide to allow vessels to navigate over the site.

Brewer requests commercial fishing be excluded within the boundaries of the site. While lobstering occurs around the area but within the site the soft mud bottom has meant scant fishing use, according to the application. Brewer began the application process in October 2020. Access the full application at maine.gov/aquaculture under Pending Lease Decisions.

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