As the daughter of a commercial fisherman, I’ve worked in Maine’s commercial fishing and seafood industries for over 20 years. As a state fisheries manager for the Department of Marine Resources, I helped to bring Maine’s scallop fishery back from the brink. Passive management had led to overfishing and the commercial fishery was barely hanging on. So I spent a lot of time in wheelhouses and at kitchen tables working with fishermen to develop a plan to better manage the resource. Together we crafted a plan that significantly reduced harvest in the short-term but promoted a thriving, sustainable fishery in the future. It was a long controversial process, but it was worth all the trouble. I am proud to say Maine’s scallop resource is recovering and our fishermen are now sustainably harvesting more than 10 times what they did a decade ago.
At the same time I recognized another problem: Maine scallops weren’t being differentiated in the marketplace. Our cold, rich inshore waters produce the best-tasting scallops in the world, and our strict regulations and limits make sure they’re landed within hours of harvest. But our delicious premium scallops were being trucked to out-of-state processing centers to be mixed in with weeks-old, chemical-soaked commodity scallops from the Federal fishery. So I left my job as a fisheries manager and started Downeast Dayboat to show the world just how amazing Maine scallops are when they’re given the treatment they deserve: shipping them soon after harvest and NEVER letting them touch fresh water or chemicals.
Because sustainability and profitability are very closely linked, I also created the Downeast Dayboat Sustainability Bonus. We pay our fishermen a bonus as long as they don’t violate any Marine Resource regulations designed to protect the scallop resource. This ensures the resource and fishery will keep on growing and producing the best-tasking scallops anywhere.
I am immensely proud to be a part of this exciting industry and to have played a critical role in its sustainable growth. I love talking about Maine’s scallops and scallop fishery so feel free to give me a call or drop me an e-mail if you want to know more. But, most importantly, order Downeast Dayboat scallops so you can Taste the Difference a Day Makes®