We had a busy and productive hatchery season, setting new production and sales records. This wouldn’t have been possible without an all-star hatchery team, many of whom have joined us this year. Their hard work and competence have brought Mook Sea Farm to a new level of efficiency and dependability.
To fulfill our goal of continued improvement in the production and quality of our oysters, we have hired Meredith White as our Director of Research and Development.
Meredith received her B.S. from Lafayette College and her Ph.D. from MIT (MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography. Most recently she has worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences for Barney Balch, and for the last academic year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College. Meredith’s research has focused primarily on understanding the effects of ocean acidification on a variety of marine organisms.
The hatchery crew is hard at work getting ready for the next season, but they are also helping Meredith in our current R&D projects. We are optimizing our heterotrophic microalgae production, tracking the condition of our market oysters, and conducting a preliminary experiment looking at the feasibility of reducing Vibrio parahaemolyticus levels in market oysters held in a recirculating holding system. The hope is, to develop a Vibrio purging method that will meet FDA standards for shellfish safety.
The Rest of the Team:
Steve Zimmerman has a B.S. from Rutgers University, and a M.S. from N.Y.U. He came to MSF from Harvard, where he was in charge of their very sizable zebra fish culture facility. Steve is a whiz at design, fabrication, automation and generally keeping everything running smoothly in the hatchery as well as on the river. Amanda Clapp earned her B.S. from the University of Maine (Machias) and her M.S. in Zoology from U.N.H. where she reared finfish and studied mechanisms for adaptive variation in
Amanda Clapp learned her B.S. from the University of Maine (Machias) and her M.S. in Zoology from U.N.H. where she reared finfish and studied mechanisms for adaptive variation in Atlantic cod.
Hannah Clark received her B.S. from Whitenberg College and her M.S. from Stony Brook University in Marine Science. Her research focused on the effects of CO2 and O2 on the early life stages of bivalves.
Ben Francis has been a key member of the hatchery team since 2014. He earned his undergraduate degree in Marine Science from the University of Maine at Orono. Each summer as the hatchery winds down, Ben has joined the river crew, grading and thinning liters and liters of oyster seed from our nursery.
Hillevi Jaegerman has a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University. She has considerable lab experience, has worked on another Maine oyster farm and was a key employee at Local 188, a restaurant in Portland. Since joining us this spring, in addition to learning the ropes in the hatchery she has played an important role in our R&D efforts this fall.
Chris Hedberg earned his B.S. in Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology from U.N.H. While at U.N.H., Chris conducted underwater research at Shoals Marine Laboratory, and worked on a striped bass/hydroponic project. This summer he also helped out on our river crew grading seed and helping to set up a Q.C. program for our market oyster shipments. Chris tops the chart for most interesting collection of shorts worn by any other oyster farmer on the Damariscotta River.
Andy leads the team. He has worked at MSF since 1999, but prior to joining us worked for 10 years managing first a salmon farm and then a macroalgae farm in Downeast Maine. At MSF he has played a key role in all of our technological advancements and handles all of our oyster seed sales.
A longer-term project, which we hope to start working on next year, will focus on understanding what effect carbonate chemistry has on calcification, growth, and survival of seed transferred from the hatchery to the nursery during the spring and early summer, when we typically see CaCO3 saturation levels declining. We plan to make the results from both the Vibrio and juvenile seed performance projects public.
We are all looking forward to meeting the expected increase in demand for seed in 2017 and will be sending out the 2017 price list and order form in November.