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New Fish Farm Siting and Management Practices Reduce Water Quality Impacts

Scientists with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) found that fish farm effects on dissolved oxygen and turbidity have been largely eliminated through better management, like using formulated feeds, minimizing feed waste, and properly siting farms in deep waters with flushing currents. The trend toward moving industrial-scale aquaculture into offshore waters is increasingly […]

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AquaSpace: An Ecosystem Approach to Making Space for Sustainable Aquaculture

NCCOS joined a recently approved project “AquaSpace – Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Sustainable Aquaculture,” as part of the European Commission research topic “Optimizing space availability for European Aquaculture.” The project aims to increase space available for aquaculture within areas of high water quality using the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which increases food security […]

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NOAA Estimates Nitrogen Removal Rates from Shellfish Farms around the World

Excessive nutrient input into estuarine and coastal environments, also known as eutrophication, can lead to algal blooms, oxygen depletion, fish kills, and a general loss of key habitats. New research from NOAA supports using shellfish aquaculture for nutrient removal and eutrophication reduction. To include shellfish aquaculture as part of a comprehensive approach to nutrient management, scientists measured […]

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Does Oyster Aquaculture Affect Nitrogen Loss From Sediments?

Off-bottom oyster aquaculture (Crassostrea virginica) is currently being investigated for possible effects on nutrient processes of surrounding sediments by  a Virginia Sea Grant Research Fellow, Abby Lunstrum, under the guidance of an NCCOS mentor. The research assesses whether, and to what extent, biodeposition from this type of aquaculture operations stimulates loss of nitrogen from the […]

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Oyster Gardening Improves Water Quality, Featured by National Geographic

The innovative “Maryland Grows Oysters” program, designed to use oyster restoration for improvement of water quality in Chesapeake Bay, was featured in a National Geographic video released on October 9. The project uses cages first produced by inmates at the Hagerstown Correctional Facility and then filled with baby oysters (or spat), which are attached to docks at volunteer study locations within the Chesapeake […]

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Fish Farming Improvements Reduce Environmental Impacts of Aquaculture

Advances in fish farming technology and management practices significantly decreased the environmental footprint and increased economic performance of aquaculture in the United States in the last forty years. Marine aquaculture in the United States represents an opportunity to provide healthy, domestic seafood, create jobs, and contribute to coastal economies, likely supplying most of the expected […]

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Best Management Practices Developed for Marine Cage Aquaculture in U.S. Caribbean

Aquaculture supplies more than half of the world’s seafood, and that share is expected to grow in the coming decades. Research shows that aquaculture is sustainable if properly managed. To assist coastal managers and industry with aquaculture development planning, NOS, NMFS, and their partners have developed best management practices for marine cage culture in the […]

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Traditional Palauan Practices Support Healthy Coral Reefs

A new study has demonstrated what Palauans have known for millennia—cultivated wetlands, in particular taro (Colocasia esculenta) fields, can control soil erosion and reduce the impact of watershed discharges on nearshore coral reefs. Taro fields in Palau are designed with embankments that allow a steady flow of water through the field, using the taro plants […]

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