An oyster farm on the Maine coast. Courtesy Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center

Aquaculture has been present in Maine coastal waters since the 19th century, but it was in the early 1970s that the first lease for private mussel farming was granted.

In recent years, oyster cultivation has eclipsed mussels and since 2012 the number of oysters harvested has more than quadrupled from around 3 million to more than 12 million.  The Damariscotta River continues to be the most productive location for oyster farming in Maine, with nearly 80% of the state’s yield.

Today there are about 80 farms from York to Washington County supplying the restaurant and retail markets, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources and Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center.

Damariscotta River Cruises, at 47 Main St., Damariscotta, 315-5544, offers a variety of trips on the River Tripper, stopping at the seven oyster farms along the river.  Samplings of raw oysters paired with wine or beer, and seal watching, make the trip delightful.  A variety of tours, times and prices are offered through October.

Food & Beverage Events

Aug. 9
Maine Beer Co. Second Dinner bottle and draft release, noon-8 p.m., 525 U.S. Route 1, Freeport, 221-5711.

Aug. 10
Bow Street Market presents tasting of Bully Boy spirits, 3:30-5:30 p.m., 79 Bow St., Freeport, 865-6631, free.


Aug. 14
Summer Graze with Nonesuch River Brewing and Cold River Distillery 6-9 p.m., Pineland Farms, 15 Farm View Road, New Gloucester, 761-6665, $75 per person, tickets at Eventbrite; five courses served family-style, with catering by The Black Tie Co.

Aug. 16
Bow Street Market presents National Rum Day with New England Distillery, 4-6 p.m., 79 Bow St., Freeport, 865-6631, free.

Aug. 20
Cooking with Coffee cooking class, Now You’re Cooking, 6-8 p.m., $50, 49 Front St., Bath, 443-1402, reservations required. For a complete list of classes, check

Sept. 21
Pints on the Pier at Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, 4-7:30 p.m. Event includes some of Maine’s best craft brewers and a variety of food trucks. Tickets $15-$32 plus ticket fee at Eventbrite.

Food Features

Merrymeeting Adult Education fall cooking classes; call 729-7323.

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