Maine Fishermen Prepare For Losses And Gains In A Climate-Changed Ocean

Jeff Putnam, a Chebeague Island lobsterman who has a side line in oysters, in 2018. (Fred Bever/Maine Public File)

In 30 years, the Gulf of Maine will have been transformed by climate change. Its waters will inexorably grow warmer, and the species that flourish there will be those that can adapt. The same might be said for the Mainers who make their living from the sea. The future of the state’s marine economy may well belong to those who can adapt.

A little over a year ago, reporter Fred Bever visited a small estuary on the far side of Chebeague Island, where lobsterman Jeff Putnam was working on a little side-business.

“These are oysters that I started just this year,” Putnam said at the time.

Putnam established the Sandy Point oyster farm to add a new revenue stream to his business, and, he says, provide future options for his children.

“Hopefully the lobster resource will still be strong when they grow up, and that will be there and that will be an option but there’s certainly no guarantee that’s the case,” he said. “So I wanted to show them there is another way to make a living.”

With the state’s lobster harvest now appearing to fall off from recent record levels, Bever called Jeff this week to see how the oysters are coming along.

Read the rest of the story at Maine Public’s website.