The cold waters of coastal Maine are well known for their bounty of lobsters. But in recent years, the aquaculture industry has put Maine on the culinary map for a beloved bivalve, too. Nearly 3 million oysters are now harvested annually from Maine’s waters. Between 2003 and 2015, the oyster market in the state boomed from less than $1 million per year to $4.8 million.

The demand for Maine oysters is leading aquaculturists to seek new places to expand their operations. Finding promising aquaculture sites can be a challenge, though; fish and shellfish farms may be successful in one place, but not another.

Now seafood farmers may be getting some help from above. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Maine have demonstrated that Landsat 8 satellite data can be used to find locations where oysters farms should thrive.

Read the full article on NASA Earth Observatory website