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Mick Devin grows mussels

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    Mick Devin grows mussels - | of | Share this photo

    Mick Devin looks over mussels he is raising in the shellfish hatchery at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole. Devin is experimenting with raising mussels in the hatchery because the wild mussel population in Maine has been decimated by predators and possibly increased acidity in the Gulf of Maine, impeding the ability for mussel farmers to grow aquaculture mussels on ropes. Devin is a marine biologist and shellfish hatchery manager at the Darling Marine Center as well as a Democratic Representative for District 90 and a co-chair of the commission that looked into the impacts of ocean acidification in the Gulf of Maine.

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    Devin and Dana Morse, an extension associate with Maine Sea Grant and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, place razor clams into a test area at Lowe's Cove near the Darling Marine Center.

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    Devin carries a bucket of algae into a room where he is raising mussels, which feed on the algae. "Mussel farmers have been able to just throw their lines out and collect all the larvae they want from nature," he said. "But mussel populations are down drastically in this state, so that may not be working so well now."

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