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Marine Aquaculture: A Promising Future

Watch the video above to learn more about the opportunities marine aquaculture creates.

More Information

10 Myths about Marine Aquaculture
Podcast—Feeds of the Future
Office of Aquaculture


Aquaculture supplies half the seafood eaten in the U.S. and abroad. Although we continue to rebuild our domestic fisheries stocks, most of the seafood needed for a growing planet will come from aquaculture.

This creates an opportunity for commercial fishermen, who are
beginning to look to aquaculture as a complement to their fishing
activities. Just like diversifying an economic portfolio, complementing fishing with aquaculture broadens income sources and mitigates risk. Environmentally sustainable aquaculture is good business and fishermen are taking notice.

Over the last two years, a project involving NOAA, New Hampshire Sea Grant and the University of New Hampshire has been working with the Portsmouth Commercial Fishermen’s Association to grow steelhead trout, mussels, and sugar kelp in floating pens on the Piscataqua (pi-ska-tə-kwȯ) River.

The process of growing species together is called Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture, or IMTA. The IMTA system takes advantage of relationships that exist in a natural ecosystem where the by-products from some species serve as food for others. IMTA has many environmental, economic, and social advantages.

It’s a different kind of work for traditional fishermen, but they have the background to pick it up quickly. With training from NH Sea Grant and UNH experts, fishermen are learning the basics of feeding, maintenance, harvesting, and packaging the products for sale. The fishermen, in turn, bring a wealth of experience with boats, marine equipment, and business relationships to the venture.

Last year, eight local fishermen took over day-to-day operations of the IMTA project, which supplies locally-raised trout and kelp and provides income directly to the fishermen. The response from local restaurants has been overwhelmingly positive, underscoring the potential for this model to be replicated elsewhere.

To learn more about this project and the opportunities that it creates, watch our video, “Marine Aquaculture: A Promising Future.”