Sea Grant Extension Agents Support Aquaculture Growth across America
By: Christopher Katalinas, NOAA Sea Grant
There are over 500 Sea Grant extension agents across the country, many of whom reside in the communities they serve. As trusted experts who are considered honest brokers of information, extension agents provide reliable technical and science‐based information to residents to address local needs. Extension agents also work with Sea Grant researchers and communication staff to transfer research priorities back to their universities.
Sea Grant coordinates national strategic investments to foster the expansion of U.S. marine, coastal and Great Lakes aquaculture through research and extension. This photo essay highlights just a few of the extension agents that provide research, technical and business expertise to help expand America's aquaculture industry.
Rob Hein is an Aquaculture Extension Agent with Georgia Sea Grant. Rob provides technical assistance to Georgia Sea Grant's oyster hatchery, which is the sole provider of oyster seed to growers in the state. Georgia Sea Grant held an oyster roast fundraiser to educate stakeholders about the importance of oyster aquaculture for food security, as well as providing valuable ecosystem services. The fundraising event raised over $18,000 which helped Georgia Sea Grant launch Georgia’s first oyster hatchery in 2015.
[For more information visit http://gacoast.uga.edu/outreach/programs/oyster-hatchery/]
Photo credit: Christopher Katalinas, NOAA Sea Grant
Lisa Calvo is a Shellfish Aquaculture Program Coordinator with the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. New Jersey Sea Grant received funding support through the 2016 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture workshops and training events to increase awareness among stakeholders about the conflict in the intertidal zone between critical habitat for the endangered Red Knot and permitting zones for the oyster aquaculture industry. Lisa was part of the team that coordinated a stakeholder workshop that pulled together relevant scientific knowledge to identify data and management gaps that state and federal agencies, conservation groups, and the oyster industry could use for adaptive management that would result in a win-win scenario.
[For more information visit http://njseagrant.org/extension/extension-staff/]
Photo credit: New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
Dana Morse is a Marine Extension Associate with Maine Sea Grant. Through an award from the 2015 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture extension and technology transfer, Dana expanded the Aquaculture in Shared Waters program to provide comprehensive aquaculture training, networking, technical support and business assistance to fishermen and members of fishing families. Stemming from these efforts, approximately 30 Aquaculture in Shared Waters students are now directly involved in aquaculture and 11 have initiated new aquaculture business enterprises.
[For more information visit https://www.seagrant.umaine.edu/staff/dana-morse]
Photo credit: Christopher Katalinas, NOAA Sea Grant
Emma Wiermaa (left) is an Aquaculture Outreach Specialist with Wisconsin Sea Grant. Wisconsin Sea Grant received support from the 2014 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture research to perform production and economic evaluations of new technologies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (UWSP NADF). Emma Wiermaa helped train the Superior Fresh workforce (aquaponics company) at the UWSP NADF by offering technical assistance, demonstration and cold water species expertise to advance their operations. The company’s production is projected at 160,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon and 1.8 million pounds of leafy greens annually.
[For more information visit http://seagrant.wisc.edu/home/Topics/Aquaculture.aspx]
Photo credit: Wisconsin Sea Grant
Dr. Kwamena Quagrainie (right) is an Aquaculture Marketing Specialist with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Dr. Quagrainie conducted a study on the economics of raising Pacific white shrimp to determine optimal stocking sizes of shrimp post-larvae and the effect on shrimp harvests. Results from this study saved eight Indiana shrimp farms a total of more than $56,000 through improved post-larval stocking programs.
[For more information visit http://iiseagrant.org/topic_aquaculture.php]
Photo credit: Abigail Bobrow, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
GULF OF MEXICO
Dr. John Supan is the Director of the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Lab. Support from the 2014 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture research helped Dr. Supan develop a commercial prototype for on-board rapid cooling of farmed oysters to address a need for safe shellfish handling practices. The resulting prototype was demonstrated at regional aquaculture conferences and trade shows through the Louisiana Sea Grant Marine Extension Program.
[For more information visit http://www.laseagrant.org/outreach/oyster-research-lab/staff-bios/]
Photo credit: Louisiana Sea Grant
Bill Walton (left) is an Oyster Aquaculture Extension Specialist with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Bill received support from the 2012 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture research to quantify the economic value of ecosystem services of oyster farming in the Gulf of Mexico. Bill's work identified the marginal economic value of off-bottom long line aquaculture in terms of recreational and commercial fisheries enhancements in Alabama and Louisiana were estimated to be $1,564 and $2,286 per acre, respectively.
[For more information visit http://masgc.org/about/staff/dr1]
Photo credit: Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Paul Olin (left) is an Aquaculture Specialist with California Sea Grant. Paul obtained support through the 2014 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture research to advance sustainable marine aquaculture in the Southern California Bight. California Sea Grant convened two workshops in 2015 and 2016 for coastal managers and scientists to exchange knowledge, assess environmental data and models, and moderate discussions focused on developing commercial-scale marine aquaculture demonstration projects in the Southern California Bight. Paul also participated in the UCLA School of Law's inaugural California Aquaculture Law Symposium where he posed with fellow speaker Neil Sims (Co-founder, CEO Kampachi Farms) in the photo above.
[For more information visit https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/news/new-report-identifies-next-steps-for-offshore-aquaculture-in-southern-california]
Photo credit: UCLA School of Law
A researcher from Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (far right) partners with the University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant. USC Sea Grant received support through the 2014 NOAA Sea Grant national strategic investment in aquaculture research to increase public awareness of aquaculture and significantly advance sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. USC Sea Grant partners with researchers from Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute to incorporate the enhanced microbial control self-cleaning tank technology into the Seabass in the Classroom program at Port of Los Angeles High School. In addition to educating students about career opportunities in aquaculture, the self-cleaning tank demonstrated improved larval fish production and was sold to seven businesses in 2016.
[For more information visit http://dornsife.usc.edu/uscseagrant/seabass-classroom-program/]
Photo credit: USC Sea Grant
To learn more about Sea Grant's research, extension and education efforts in advancing sustainable aquaculture, visit http://seagrant.noaa.gov/Our-Work/Aquaculture, or search for an extension agent in your state using the Sea Grant Address Book located on our extension page.