Large-scale offshore aquaculture may have much less environmental impact from nutrient pollution than people suspect, according to a recent study funded by Florida Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries.
Offshore aquaculture is poised to grow in the coming years to help offset the U.S. seafood trade deficit, but concerns have been raised about the potential for fish waste to pollute surrounding waters by introducing unnaturally high nutrient levels. In this new study, researchers found little evidence of nutrient pollution from a commercial cobia aquaculture farm located offshore the Republic of Panama.
New research and innovative collaborative efforts aim to advance domestic aquaculture. Forty two new projects funded by Sea Grant in three programs will work to increase understanding and transfer knowledge to end users for different topics and geographies across the U.S.
In Puget Sound, The Nature Conservancy in Washington wants to learn more about shellfish aquaculture structures and how they impact the marine environment for specific organisms or life stages. They partner with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Washington Sea Grant, as well as the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and shellfish farms, to study which fish and crab species use shellfish aquaculture habitats.
A Sea Grant team of legal and aquaculture experts has released a report detailing eight case studies that identify challenges to the shellfish aquaculture industry in the United States. The project was funded through Sea Grant's 2017 national investment in aquaculture.
Sea Grant's 2019 national aquaculture program includes three federal funding opportunities to advance priority project types.