UMF starts up Public Classroom Series with talk on fisheries, fish farming and the future, Sept. 26

FARMINGTON, ME  (September 18, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington once again welcomes members of the public to the UMF Public Classroom Series—a selection of informative and insightful talks and discussions by University faculty exploring important contemporary issues.

This semester’s first talk is “What’s on your dinner plate? A story of fisheries, fish farming and the future,” by Timothy Breton, UMF assistant professor of biology. This talk takes place at 6:30 p.m., with refreshments at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the UMF Emery Community Arts Center. It is free and open to the public.

“We warmly invite members of the Maine community to join us at UMF for a stimulating educational series created with the public in mind,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “UMF deeply appreciates its inclusion as part of an engaged community and The Public Classroom is a wonderful way to contribute. We welcome all and hope you can join us.”

Timothy Breton

Timothy Breton

Breton’s talk will explore how many wild fisheries in the U.S. are stagnant or in decline, while demand for seafood continues to increase. A large proportion of our seafood consumption now comes from imports, which has resulted in a seafood trade deficit over $14 billion in 2016.

To reduce our reliance on seafood imports and meet our increasing needs, recent efforts have focused on developing fish farming, or aquaculture. In many cases, however, relatively little is known about the biology, dynamics, or optimal growing strategies for a particular fish or seaweed. Often, fishermen, farmers, and researchers work closely to develop better techniques and grow emerging commercial industries.

Breton’s research aims to understand the genetics and physiology of diverse marine species, and to apply that knowledge for future gains in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. His talk will introduce the problems facing fisheries and aquaculture today, and what research is being conducted across the country, and in Farmington, to find solutions.

At UMF Breton teaches human anatomy and physiology courses, as well as bioinformatics and endocrinology classes for biology majors.  His interests focus on the intersection of fish physiology and molecular biology, with applications to fisheries and aquaculture, or fish farming.  He has conducted diverse research on many commercially important fish, including Atlantic cod, summer flounder, black sea bass, rainbow smelt, and alewives.  He recently received funding through the Maine Economic Improvement Fund to study sugar kelp aquaculture in Downeast Maine, in collaboration with the University of Maine at Machias.

Originally from Massachusetts, he received both a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire before joining UMF in 2015.

The UMF Public Classroom Series is sponsored by the UMF Office of the President.

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Media contact: Timothy Breton, UMF assistant professor of biology

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image can be found at:
Photo Credit: UMF photo