Aquaculture


Selective breeding seaweed

Using a mix of rulers, calipers, and measuring tapes, a dozen scientists—an aquaculture geek squad of sorts—are sizing up thousands of individual kelp blades recently harvested from offshore seaweed farms in New England in order to find the best specimens for selective breeding. It’s a long, exacting process, but for WHOI scientist Scott Lindell, it’s a key step toward turning the ocean crop into a global energy source for the future. The work will enable scientists to breed better kelp—strains that can tolerate the harsh offshore conditions in which they’re grown. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is funding the research, as part of a broader effort aimed at advancing the mass production of seaweed for biofuels. The idea is simple: Grow kelp on a large scale in offshore farms and turn it into biofuels that could one day power millions of homes and cars.

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Improving lives in East Africa through shellfish aquaculture

Shellfish aquaculture in the coastal waters of East Africa holds great potential to provide a stable, healthy source of protein and as well as new economic opportunities for entire communities, so long as up-to-date knowledge and equipment are available. To date, however, very little shellfish aquaculture is practiced in Zanzibar because of a lack of shellfish hatcheries, which provide shellfish seed to farmers, and a lack of technical knowledge about how to best farm and manage shellfish stocks.

Contribute to ProjectWHOI on behalf of ProjectWHOI Zanzibar:
https://projectwhoi.whoi.edu/home/zanzibar

With the help of this ProjectWHOI fundraiser, Hauke Kite-Powell will be able to increase seed production capacity at the hatchery to about 10 million clam seed per year, which should translate into additional income of $100/year for several hundred shellfish farmers in Zanzibar, many of whom are women supporting families. Hauke will also be able to send staff from U.S. shellfish growing companies supporting this project to Zanzibar to help train hatchery staff and growers. Most importantly, it will support the training of the next generation of hatchery operators and lay the foundation for expanding shellfish aquaculture along the coast of Tanzania and other parts of East Africa.

The funds raised in this campaign will enable Hauke Kite-Powell to supply much-needed equipment to bring the training hatchery up to full capacity and to support the travel of US shellfish farm trainers who will volunteer their time to train local technicians at the hatchery in Zanzibar.

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360˚ Video Time-lapse: Growing Better Biofuels

Check out what it takes to grow great seaweed! Take a 360 tour of WHOI’s Environmental Systems Laboratory as our researchers weigh, measure, and dry kelp from an experimental coastal farm to find out what characteristics could add up to an optimal crop for food, feed, and biofuels.

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360˚ Video: Kelp Phenotyping

Using a mix of rulers, calipers, and measuring tapes, a dozen scientists—an aquaculture geek squad of sorts—are sizing up thousands of individual kelp blades recently harvested from offshore seaweed farms in New England in order to find the best specimens for selective breeding. It’s a long, exacting process, but for WHOI scientist Scott Lindell, it’s a key step toward turning the ocean crop into a global energy source for the future.

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King Kelp

Scott Lindell

To help fuel our future energy needs, researchers are sizing up thousands of blades of sugar kelp—a promising source of biofuels—to breed strains that grow larger, heartier, and more abundantly.

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Fueling the Future

Fueling the Future

WHOI was awarded $5.7 million from ARPA-E’s Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) Program for two projects that develop tools and technology to advance the mass production of seaweed for biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

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Jet Fuel from Algae?

Jet Fuel from Algae?

New research shows a way to tap overlooked fats in marine algae to produce compounds used in jet fuel.

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Independent Panel Recommends Strong, Clear Guidelines for Development of Marine Aquaculture in the United States

Independent Panel Recommends Strong, Clear Guidelines for Development of Marine Aquaculture in the United States

Congress should enact legislation to ensure that strong environmental standards are in place to regulate the siting and conduct of offshore marine aquaculture, according to an independent panel of leaders from scientific, policymaking, business, and conservation institutions. Organized by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Aquaculture Task Force was charged with examining the risks and benefits of marine aquaculture and developing a set of national policy recommendations to guide future development in our oceans.

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