Two grants totaling $650,000 have been awarded to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Woods Hole Sea Grant program. The money will be used to support research toward increasing aqua-culture production in the state.
One project, “Increasing Northeast U.S. Marine Aquaculture Production by Pre-permitting Federal Ocean Space,” aims to simplify the process and reduce the cost of obtaining permits to farm marine species in U.S. waters. Led by Hauke Kite-Powell, a research specialist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the project will conduct fisheries, protected species, shipping industry, and other reviews on selected offshore areas in advance, to reduce the regulatory burden for aquaculture growers.
Abigail Archer, a marine resource specialist with Woods Hole Sea Grant and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, is the lead on a second newly funded project to explore the potential to broaden the shellfish aquaculture market in Massachusetts to include two other native clam species – surf clams (Spisula solidissima) and blood arks (Anadara ovalis) as well as shucked oysters (Crassostrea virginica), for those who prefer not to eat raw oysters.
The project, a collaboration between Woods Hole Sea Grant, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, and Wellfleet SPAT (Shellfish Promotion and Tasting), will conduct a market analysis of the potential consumer demand for and economic value of culturing alternative species, as well as for shucked oysters.