NOS and NMFS Help Connecticut Improve its Shellfish Siting Decision Tool in Long Island Sound
On May 16-17, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and National Marine Fisheries Service met with partners from Connecticut Sea Grant, the University of Connecticut, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review developments for a NOAA Aquaculture Program project. The project will merge data from NCCOS’s Farm Aquaculture Resource Management (FARM) model and the existing Connecticut Shellfisheries Atlas, providing optimal aquaculture siting information to local growers and regulators as they seek to identify the best locations for aquaculture operations.
Using initial data from Milford, Westport, and Stonington Harbors, the model predicts one-inch oyster seeds grown in harbor locations will reach market size faster than those grown in offshore and dock stations. The project team is developing color-coded maps with these new sites that will be added to the existing Connecticut Shellfisheries Atlas for growers and regulators to make informed aquaculture siting decisions.