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NCCOS and University of Maryland Evaluate Sustainable Oyster Aquaculture Operations

Published on: 02/08/2018
Primary Contact(s): suzanne.bricker@noaa.gov

NCCOS scientist Suzanne Bricker and University of Maryland's Matt Parker, Aquaculture Business Specialist, will present findings on sustainable oyster aquaculture at the Aquaculture America 2018) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada later this month (see abstracts).

A poster, “Sustainable Oyster Aquaculture, Water Quality Improvement and Ecosystem Service Potential in Maryland, Chesapeake Bay,” and an oral presentation, “Use of Spatial Planning and Environmental Data for Increased Commercial Shellfish Production and Profitability; A Real World Application,” will both be featured at the February 19-22 conference hosted by the World Aquaculture Society. Bricker and Parker's findings come from sampling water and oysters from six Maryland Chesapeake Bay oyster farms beginning in May 2016, and highlight the use of their monitoring data to develop husbandry practices and strategies to increase oyster production capabilities. Additionally, the data were used in a model to evaluate the potential removal of nutrients by oyster aquaculture and the value of the removed nitrogen that might be paid to oyster growers for the nutrient removal service within a nutrient credit trading program.

At present there is no active trading within the Maryland Nutrient Trading Program but the Chesapeake Bay Program has approved the use of harvested oyster tissue as a nutrient management measure and future policy changes might allow for compensation to oyster growers.

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