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21 st Century Technology for a Global Marketplace. What is Aquaculture?.

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what is aquaculture
What is Aquaculture?
  • Aquaculture is the propagation, rearing and subsequent harvesting of aquatic organisms in controlled or selected environments, and the subsequent processing, packaging and marketing, and shall include, but need not be limited to, activities to intervene in the rearing process to increase production such as stocking, feeding, transplanting and providing protection against predators.

(P.L. 1997, c. 236 s.3)

aquaculture can include
Aquaculture can include:
  • Finfish for food
  • Finfish for recreational stocking
  • Finfish for resource enhancement
  • Finfish for nuisance species control
  • Baitfish
  • Ornamentals
aquaculture can also be
Aquaculture can also be:
  • Production of aquatic plants
  • Algae production for
    • Nutriceuticals
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Food additives
    • Water quality enhancement
reclam the bay
Reclam the Bay

Grass roots organisms are using aquaculture to help make New Jersey a better place to live.

what about environmental impacts
What about environmental impacts?
  • New Jersey has adopted a set of Agriculture Management Practices as part of the Aquatic Farmer License Program
  • These Practices specifically address the issues of water quality, wetlands protection, wastewater treatment, water supply, and non-native species
aquaculture is important in maintaining good water quality
Aquaculture is Important in Maintaining Good Water Quality

Production of oysters, clams and mussels actually improves water quality by filtering algae and particulate matter out of the water.

aquaculture increases biodiversity and ecosystem stability
Aquaculture Increases Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability
  • Since it takes about three years for clams and oysters to reach market size, farmed shellfish help to seed natural shellfish beds benefitting both the environment and New Jersey recreational clammers.
  • Shellfish help to form a three dimensional substrate providing protection and homes for other marine organisms.
increased sustainability of new jersey s marine resources
Increased Sustainability of New Jersey’s Marine Resources
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United nations estimates that wild harvest fisheries have reached maximum sustainable yield but the worldwide demand for seafood is growing
  • USDA dietary guidelines recommend two seafood meals per week to maintain good health. Even without considering population growth, meeting that criterion would more than triplethe U.S. demand for seafood
aquaculture development plan 1995
Aquaculture Development Plan (1995)


Creation of 2,500 jobs

Annual revenues of $150,000,000

Utilization of 10,000 acres of upland

An increase of 1,500 acres of aquatic leases

the plan and enabling legislation recognized that
The Plan and enabling legislation recognized that:
  • Education, technology exchange, and research is a cornerstone for building a vibrant aquaculture industry in New Jersey
  • Significant federal dollars were accessed to help build a Multi-Species Demonstration Facility operated for the citizens of New Jersey by Rutgers University
julius nelson 1858 1916
Julius Nelson(1858-1916)
  • Became Director of the New Jersey Department of Oyster Culture in 1888.
  • The Department evolved into the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory
  • Nelson considered aquaculture a form of agriculture
  • Early work focused on increasing production through a better understanding of the oyster life history
aquaculture is agriculture
Aquaculture is agriculture

Nelson’s 1892 Annual Report:

  • I have called your oyster culture a department of agriculture. To this there have been serious objections.
  • off the coast there are men who call themselves oyster farmers;
  • who cultivate oysters on farms;
  • who sow oyster seed, and
  • Plant and transplant oysters
  • who let their ground lie fallow to rest now and then, because it has raised so many crops as to be exhausted…
  • Oysters were once a mainstay of the economy in the small town ringing the Delaware Bay
  • In 1888 oysters were planted on less than 15,000 acres and yielded $2,250,000 (over $50.5 MILLION in 2007 dollars) or about $150 per acre (well over $3,000 in 2007 dollars).
oyster research has come a long way
Oyster research has come a long way:

The Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory has become an authoritative center for research, industry services, education, and extension

  • Tetraploidy
  • Disease resistant oysters
  • Shellfish pathology
  • New resistant, faster growing species
economic opportunities
Economic Opportunities
  • It is estimated that every 250,000 bushels of oysters harvested provides 24 person years of DIRECT employment
  • Those dollars benefit other local businesses
  • The Oyster Industry Revitalization Task Force final report estimated that Delaware Bay oyster production would increase to between 200,000 and 330,000 bushels per year
hard clams quahogs
Hard Clams/Quahogs
  • Hard clams are among the top ten species harvested or farmed in New Jersey
  • Several groups have been formed including Reclam the Bay to help return more hard clams to Barnegat Bay.
  • Recently, clam farmers have formed an organization to help market their clams as local, hand harvested product
initial funding from
Initial Funding From:
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology
  • Public Service Electric and Gas
  • Casino Redevelopment Authority
university support
University support:
  • Using significant federal and state dollars, academic infrastructure has been built, but lack of operating capital is jeopardizing the viability and effectiveness of those resources
  • Other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have recognized the economic value of developing aquaculture industries and have dedicated considerable resources to facilitate growth of the industry.
  • Support for both finfish and shellfish aquaculture is, in part, reflected in academic programs and research at the university level in those states.
  • Those mature academic programs have successfully spun-off profitable commercial aquaculture operations.
university facilities
University Facilities
  • Have helped launch major commercial facilities in other states
  • Have provided assistance and expertise to allow the existing industry to grow
  • Have assisted in coordinating other programs within the university to provide expertise in areas such as food processing and technology
what are other states doing
What are other states doing?
  • In New York, Fingerlakes Aquaculture, a spin-off from Cornell University, operates a high-tech indoor recirculating system with a production capacity of 1.25 million pounds of tilapia per year. This makes it one of the largest indoor recirculating aquaculture systems in North America.
  • Blue Ridge Aquaculture, Martinsville, Virginia ships an estimated 75,000 pounds of live tilapia to New York, Boston, and Toronto each week. The company is teamed up with MariCal to launch Virginia Cobia Farms. Both of these projects were shepherded by researchers at Virginia Tech
the rutgers facility can
The Rutgers Facility can:
  • Provide similar stimulus in New Jersey
  • Serve as a vehicle to attract additional grants and funding to New Jersey since aquaculture is rapidly becoming a major focus of the activities at USDA, USDOC, and Energy
what about the economy
What about the economy?
  • To be competitive, aquaculture operations are often located in areas where land values are low
  • These areas have very often faced severe economic challenges
  • Examples can be seen in the towns ringing Delaware Bay where there was once a thriving oyster industry
  • Aquaculture creates jobs in shoreside industries such as seafood processing, marketing, transportation and vessel maintenance

Induced Impacts of Fish Farming

Industries supported by household

income earned in fish farming and

upstream industries

Induced Impacts of Fish Farming

Industries supported by household

income earned in fish farming and

downstream industries

Direct Impacts of Downstream Industries

Downstream industries supplied by fish farms






Indirect Impacts of Downstream Industries

Industries supplying downstream industries


Truck manufacture


Indirect Impacts of Fish Farms

Upstream industries supplying fish farms


Equipment manufacturers

Feed manufacturers

Veterinary services

Industries supplying upstream industries

what are the opportunities for aquaculture in new jersey
What are the opportunities for Aquaculture in New Jersey?
  • Locally produced food meets the consumer need for high quality food produced in an environmentally sound manner
  • Organically grown foods help to ensure the safety of the food supply
  • Increased availability of reasonably priced seafood can benefit the health of the state’s citizens
  • Providing fish for recreational stocking helps improve the overall quality of life
  • Backyard ponds are growing popularity
  • Environmental remediation
  • Stock enhancement
  • Pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals
building on new jersey s high tech industries
Building on New Jersey’s High Tech Industries
  • Add to the economic vitality
  • Marine organisms have shown promising results in the production of
    • Enzymes for preventing freezing in proteins important in medical, food and cosmetic industries
    • Marine biologics
    • Functional foods-Nestle and General Mills already are working with marine derivatives
    • Anti-cancer drugs if successful can produce revenues similar to other cancer drugs (Avastin $2.7 billion per year, Herceptin ($1.3 billion per year)
    • Antivirals