“WE CAME WITHIN a nanometer of going out of business,” Bill Mook remembers. As the owner of Mook Sea Farm, a shellfish hatchery in mid-coast Maine, Bill just barely averted disaster. “I started the year with nine or ten employees. By the end of fall, I was down to three.”

He was desperate to discover what was making his oyster larvae incapable of metamorphosis, which was leading to zero output. And so, he decided to embark on a month of night-time investigations. He donned black clothes, turned off his headlights while parked on the side of a nearby highway, and scoured the area around his hatchery with a red-lens flashlight. At the hatchery’s water source, he finally stumbled upon the answer….[keep reading]