First Global Statistical Analysis of Harmful Algal Blooms

June 8, 2021 — The first-ever global statistical analysis of trends in harmful algal blooms (HABs) has shown that, worldwide, there is no significant increase in HABs events, but that in some regions, events that include toxic species of algae affecting humans and wildlife are on the rise. In addition, the study finds that human activity, primarily aquaculture in coastal waters, and the economic impacts that HABs event cause to the fast-growing growing industry, is likely behind the perceived increase.

Controlling Sloshing Motions in Sea-Based Fish Farming Cages Improves Fish Welfare

Sea-based fish farming systems using net pens are hard on the environment and fish. A closed cage can improve fish welfare, but seawater must be continuously circulated through the cage. However, waves can cause the water to slosh inside the cage, creating violent motions and endangering the cage and fish. A study using a scale-model containment system is reported in Physics of Fluids and shows why violent sloshing motions arise and how to minimize them.

‘Hail to the Queen’ – Saving the Caribbean Queen Conch

Second only to the spiny lobster, the queen conch is a prized delicacy long harvested for food and is revered for its beautiful shell. Conch populations have dwindled so low, creating a dire and urgent situation in ecological and economic terms. To preserve this most significant molluscan fishery in the Caribbean, the world’s leading expert on queen conch aquaculture has published an 80-page, step-by-step user manual that provides complete illustrations and photos of how to culture and restore the queen conch.

Scientists are First in the World to Spawn Bonefish in Captivity

Fossil records of bonefish go back 138 million years, but large gaps about their biology remain. In just four years, scientists have successfully spawned bonefish in captivity and have figured out their life cycle to help inform management and conservation of this revered fishery. In the Florida keys alone, the annual economic impacts exceed $465 million. Florida’s recreational and commercial fishing industries and associated businesses account for billions of dollars that drive the economic engine for the state each year and contribute to hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Rutgers-Led Project Will Buy 76,000 Oysters From Farmers Struggling During COVID-19 Pandemic

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 10, 2020) – A Rutgers-led project will buy 76,000 oysters from New Jersey oyster farmers who are struggling to sell the shellfish following the shutdown of restaurants and indoor dining as a result of the COVID-19…

Could These ‘Salt-loving’ Edible Sea Vegetables be the New Kale?

Skip the salt! Three species of sea vegetables could just be the new kale with the added benefit of a salty flavor. The 10-week study was designed to determine the optimal growing conditions for these sea vegetables that could soon be a great addition to salads, soups, pasta, rice and other dishes in the continental U.S. These nutritious plants for human consumption do not require fresh water and instead are grown in salt water.

Oyster Farming and Shorebirds Likely Can Coexist

Oyster farming as currently practiced along the Delaware Bayshore does not significantly impact four shorebirds, including the federally threatened red knot, which migrates thousands of miles from Chile annually, according to a Rutgers-led study. The findings, published in the journal Ecosphere, likely apply to other areas around the country including the West Coast and Gulf Coast, where oyster aquaculture is expanding, according to Rutgers experts who say the study can play a key role in identifying and resolving potential conflict between the oyster aquaculture industry and red knot conservation groups.

Oysters and Clams Can be Farmed Together

Eastern oysters and three species of clams can be farmed together and flourish, potentially boosting profits of shellfish growers, according to a Rutgers University–New Brunswick study. Though diverse groups of species often outperform single-species groups, most bivalve farms in the United States and around the world grow their crops as monocultures, notes the study in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Fish Scattering Sound Waves Has Impact on Aquaculture

Fisheries acoustics have been studied for over 40 years to assess biomass and optimize aquaculture applications, and researchers in France have examined the phenomenon of how fish scatter acoustic waves in a dense school of fish contained in an open-sea cage. They developed an approach to help overcome issues encountered in aquaculture relating to the evaluation of the total biomass of dense schools of fish. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.

Rutgers Shellfish Expert Available to Discuss East Coast Oyster Breeding Project

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 15, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick shellfish geneticist Ximing Guo is available to comment on a five-year Rutgers-led consortium project to breed better, more disease-resistant East Coast oysters. Improved oyster broodstock will then be made available…

The makeup of mariculture: FSU researchers examine global trends in seafood farming

When Florida families settle down to enjoy a seafood dinner they may not realize the main dish wasn’t freshly caught in the nearby Gulf of Mexico, but rather farmed off the coast of Panama. The process of farming seafood in the ocean, known as mariculture, is a growing trend yet little is known about the trajectories of its development.

U-M-led team selected for second $20M federal agreement to manage national estuary research

A collaborative, multisector team, led by the University of Michigan’s Water Center at the Graham Sustainability Institute and the School for Environment and Sustainability, has been awarded a five-year, $20 million cooperative agreement to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in overseeing research at a nationwide network of 29 coastal reserves.