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Images: Down on the Farm...Raising Fish

To study the feasibility of commercial shellfish farming offshore of New England, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution created this demonstration system that grows blue mussels in the open ocean. The “longline mooring” uses submerged ropes and buoys to allow juvenile mussels to develop in nutrient-rich, naturally flushed waters.

Since 1950, both wild fish catch and farmed fish have increased significantly as the world population has tripled.

Rigid cages are used to contain surf clams in a shellfish aquaculture demonstration experiment supported by the Woods Hole Sea Grant program. Adolescent clam “seedlings” are held in submerged cages until they grow to commercially viable size and weight. (Dale Leavitt, Roger Williams University.)

Will Ostrom (blue hard hat), a senior engineering assistant in the WHOI Department of Physical Oceanography, and Joe Alvernes, a crewmember of the fishing vessel Nobska, scrape mussels from a rope that had been submerged for 19 months. (Walter Paul, WHOI.)

Researchers and commerical fishermen check on an open-ocean cage for finfish aquaculture in a demonstration project by the University of New Hampshire. The submersible cage is raised for feedings, cleaning, and maintenance, then lowered to allow the farmed fish to develop in open water that is naturally flushed by ocean currents. (The University of New Hampshire Open Ocean Aquaculture Program.)

Aquaculture holds the promise of feeding the impoverished populations of some developing countries, while also providing a key crop for export. The photo above shows coastal fish ponds on the island of Pemba, Zanzibar.
(Hauke Kite-Powell, WHOI.)

Local fish farmers and researchers from the Zanzibar Institute of Marine Science use nets to haul in fish grown in the coastal ponds. (Hauke Kite-Powell, WHOI.)