Shellfish lease app submitted

DEER ISLE — Abigail Barrows of Stonington has applied to the Maine Department of Marine Resources for a lease to raise shellfish on 4.24 acres at the entrance to Pickering Cove.

The proposed lease site sits south of Big Hay Island and west of Freese Island. Barrows proposes to use suspended gear to raise up to 1 million Eastern oysters as well as various seaweeds.

The site will be tended one to six times a week during the summer months. Visual checks of seaweed will occur throughout the winter as necessary, according to the application.

The oysters will be hand harvested by boat. Harvesters untie the oyster bags, pull them on board and sort by size. Those not of marketable size will be returned to the water.

Seaweed will be hand harvested in the spring.

A 20-foot scow or similar will be used to access the site.

The applicant says fishing is limited in the area, but the lease site would displace one or two lobstermen’s traps.

The next step in the review process is a required site visit by DMR scientists. After the site review is complete, a site report will be published and posted to DMR’s website. A public hearing will then be scheduled.

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