Oct 292014

The first shellfish aquaculture project permitted in federal waters off the U.S. east coast is expected to begin operating next spring.  Scientists and fishermen are partnering on this project to grow blue mussels within a 30-acre area in Nantucket Sound. They hope to create new jobs in the region and satisfy consumer demand for local seafood, without posing risks to vulnerable marine life such as whales and sea turtles.

NOAA Fisheries supported research in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to test the technology for this project.  Scientists found that mussels grow rapidly and have a high survival rate using this technology.  For the current project, the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized installation of the structures needed to grow the mussels.  NOAA Fisheries provided technical advice to the Corps, during the project design, to help minimize risks to whales, sea turtles and other marine life. Read more …

  One Response to “NOAA announces first federal offshore aquaculture project”

  1. Read the linked article at SouthCoastToday which gave some detail as to the construction with the “hanging ropes and ‘socks'” – “… help to improve water quality …” Indeed mussels tend to filter water although as with all marine life there are certain maximum amounts – i.e. if you “plant” too many muscles to be sustained by the regular “dirt” you then may need to provide extra “food” – and presto you are back to less environment-friendly farming methods centered around one species being preferred over all others. Like in land-based monocultures which take this concept to the extreme.

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