September Roundtable Luncheon
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Cumberland Club, 116 High Street, Portland
Togue Brawn loves to talk about Maine scallops and why they are so much better than anything else out there. She is dedicated to making sure the message gets out there so that Maine scallops and the people who fish them receive the recognition due them.
As a former state fisheries manager for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Togue spearheaded sweeping changes to the way our state manages its inshore scallop fishery. Her efforts helped scallops recover grow the scallop fishing industry. Maine fishermen now sustainably harvest almost 10 times as many scallops as were harvested prior to the changes.
During her tenure as a state fisheries manager, Togue came to appreciate just how unique the Maine scallop is because the methods by which it's fished produce a far superior product. However, Maine fishermen don't receive a premium price for the product they are delivering, and most consumers don't know what scallops are supposed to taste like. In 2011, Togue left state government to start Downeast Dayboat, whose mission is to differentiate Maine scallops as the world's best by shipping them within 24 hours of harvest.
Togue comes to us today with the following question:
How do I profitably price my premium scallops
in a commodity-driven marketplace?
Togue Brawn graduated from Duke University and went on to obtain her MSc in Marine Policy from the University of Maine. Her love of Maine's commercial fishing industry started early. Her father was a lobsterman based out of Cape Elizabeth, and Togue's first job was selling fish. She has worked with or within the fishing and seafood industry for almost 30 years. She's sold commercial fishing equipment, written for a commercial fishing newspaper, been a French translator at a European seafood exhibition, conducted scientific research at sea, and served as a fishing industry lobbyist and advocate.
Over the past 10 years, Togue has focused her efforts on scallops and has become a passionate advocate for Maine's scallop industry. In addition to heading up Downeast Dayboat, she also does consultancy work. She is currently working with the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association to help them grow their scallop program. In addition, Togue is working with Coastal Enterprises to help them better understand the market for cultivated scallops and develop the market.