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The Solution Hope is spreading along Maines mudflats for a lasting soft- shell success story. Chris Warner a shellfish harvester from Bath Maine teamed up with Manomet last summer to cre- ate Maines first commercial-sized soft-shell clam farm in Georgetown Maine. Outside of Maine shellfish harvesters are growing soft-shell clams alongside quahogs and oysters as a part of diversified aquaculture schemes but no private soft-shell aquaculture exists in Maine. While local Shellfish Committees lead annual restoration projects by reseeding barren flats and covering the seeded area with protective netting no one in Maine has ever tried to use this technique to make a living off of maintain- ing and running their own soft-shell clam farm. Warner with Manomets scientific help is trying to do just that. Warner who has been harvesting clams for his entire adult life believes that farming is the only way clammers will be able to beat the green crab problem and secure stable income for themselves now and for generations to come. According to Warner clam farming takes green crabs out of the equation. By planting baby seed clams in previously unpro- ductive flats and protecting them with nets you are ensuring a future harvest but also helping to regenerate the natural supply of clams to the region. The seeded clams grow up to be reproducing adults that provide more planktonic larvae to the ecosystem. Unlike other kinds of aquaculture soft-shell clam farms are green. No chemicals antibiotics or food need be applied in order for the clams to growthe natural ocean takes care of everything. Warner was working on his own small-scale operation in a conservation closure in Georgetown Maine when Manomet President John Hagan first saw Warners idea in action. Hagan who was immediately struck by the potential for this method to restore a declining fishery asked WarnerHave you ever thought about scaling up to a commercial farm Of course Warner had. The Partnership Trust between Warner and Manomet bloomed quickly and soon the commercial-scale project was underway. Manomet cares about the future and thats what I care about explained Warner. I care about jobs and keeping our children in these communities and from the beginning I could tell that Manomet was right on board with that. Manomet has a long history of fisheries work and is cur- rently coordinating the Downeast Fisheries Partnership a collaborative group of organizations and individuals who are working together to ensure that the people in eastern Maine can continue fishing forever. The Gulf of Maine used to be home to scores of wild fisheries but is now dominated by only one lobster. The Partnership hopes to restore the regions historic ground fisheries and keep dwindling fisheries like the soft-shell clam thriving. Manomet Partnerships for Sustainability Summer 2015 5