BLUE HILL — Tightrope Seafarms President Evan Young has applied for another aquaculture lease in the Salt Pond. A public hearing is scheduled for March 2.
Young is requesting two tracts, totaling 7.01 acres, for the bottom culture of American oysters. One is a 3.24-acre parcel south of uninhabited Carleton Island and the other is 3.77 acres southeast of the island. In between would be a navigation channel in the deeper water.
Oysters would be planted directly on the sea bottom from mid-summer through late fall and harvested throughout the year with divers, hand tools and/or a small dredge except when there is ice on the pond. No surface gear is proposed.
“I am basically moving from growing oysters to market size in cages to transferring juveniles from cages to the bottom until the grow to market size,” Young wrote in his application.
Tightrope Seafarms holds three leases in the Salt Pond, totaling about 17 acres. At the time of the application, originally filed in March 2019, the company had approximately 600,000 oysters at various stages of growth in the Salt Pond.
In a site review prepared by the state Department of Marine Resources, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Becca Settele stated that “minimal impacts to wildlife are anticipated for this aquaculture site.”
A virtual public hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 2 via Microsoft Teams. To register, visit https://www.maine.gov/dmr/aquaculture/meetinglist.html.