Aquaculture

We also offer local activities on shellfish. Learn more in Ocean Learning.

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Bivalves for Clean Water

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

The Bivalves for Clean Water program educates marine shoreline owners and recreational shellfish harvesters about coastal pollution, ecosystem health, water quality and resource management issues challenging Puget Sound and Hood Canal. This multifaceted approach lets participants choose activities that fit their individual learning styles and interests.

Activities offered include workshops, field trips, shellfish-enhancement activities, citizen monitoring, beach walks and assessments, site visits, publications and one-on-one technical assistance.

WSG recruits and trains volunteers to identify and eliminate pollution sources in their watersheds, enhance recreational shellfish populations and conduct safe recreational harvest trips.

COVID-19 Resources for Shellfish Industry

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

WSG is closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus — which causes the disease known as COVID-19 — and is making every possible effort to address the changing needs of the local shellfish aquaculture community. Through community outreach and a webpage, WSG is helping Washington State shellfish industry members connect to resources provided by the Washington State Governor’s office during the COVID-19 outbreak.

See the COVID-19 Resources for Shellfish Industry web page for up to date information.

Indigenous Aquaculture Cross-Pacific Regional Collaborative Hub

Melissa Poe, Social Scientist

WSG is leading a three-year grant to advance sustainable Indigenous Aquaculture practices and enhance seafood production in the Pacific region. Working in coordination with Hawaii and Alaska Sea Grants, WSG launched a cross-Pacific regional collaborative effort integrating research, outreach and education funded, in part, through a grant from the National Sea Grant Aquaculture Initiative. Over 125 guests recently attended the first collaborative summit meeting held on Oahu, including representatives from 13 Pacific Northwest tribes and many more from across the globe. Attendees learned about traditional Hawaiian aquaculture practices and technologies. It was a catalyzing event resulting in a number of new collaborations amongst participants.

Outcomes will include a suite of communications tools, including social media coverage of local commercial fisheries, profile stories on commercial fishermen; infographics for seafood distributors, chefs and consumers; traditional media stories focused on accurate data, fisheries management and how WDFW monitors to ensure seafood is sustainably caught; and outreach at targeted events.

Kelp Aquaculture

Meg Chadsey, Ocean Acidification Specialist

Interest in macroalgae aquaculture is growing. Kelp and other seaweeds can be grown for food, animal feed, organic fertilizer, biofuels and other sustainable products. In Washington State, kelp aquaculture grew out of ocean acidification (OA) research. Because macroalgae absorbs nutrients and carbon dioxide as it grows, co-cultivation of macroalgae alongside farmed marine species can help recycle waste, and may buffer vulnerable organisms from the corrosive effects of OA.

WSG works with partners to investigate the impact that kelp aquaculture can have on OA and the potential commercial markets for farmed kelp, including using kelp as food and as fertilizer

In 2019, WSG lead a 3-day training for potential kelp farmers, created a go-to website for providing basic information for getting started all in one place, and continues to field inquiries from around the state.

WSG staff can also help answer questions about kelp and seaweed aquaculture and the educational and funding resources that are currently available.

Shellfish Conferences

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

Each year, WSG participates in and organizes conferences and training workshops on aquaculture and related issues and shares research findings with decision makers, producers and resource managers.

WSG contributes to the Washington State Shellfish Initiative, the annual Shellfish Growers Conference, the Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference, and one-time events such as symposia on aquaculture and the environment.

For current and upcoming events or webinars, check the Events Calendar.

Email Teri King at wsgcanal@uw.edu

State of the Oyster Study: Testing Shellfish for Health and Safety

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

Shellfish need clean water to thrive. Pollutants can destroy their beds, and bacteria taken up by shellfish can sicken people who eat them. WSG’s State of the Oyster Study is a citizen science monitoring program that trains waterfront property owners to test the safety of their shellfish before consumption. Four times a year, residents gather clams and oysters at low tide and bring them to WSG to be tested for Vibrio parahaemolyticus and bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. WSG then helps participants interpret the test results and, if necessary, works closely with them to identify and remedy sources of contamination.

The WSG Well Education and Testing program (WET)

WET is offered in tandem with the State of the Oyster Study. Testing your well water is the best way to identify possible contamination. The WSG WET provides homeowners with a local, inexpensive way to test well water.

Washington Coast Shellfish Study

Working with Southwest Washington shellfish growers, WSG is leading a three-year, multi-partner, applied research project to assist planning and collaboration amongst tideland managers, owners and regulators in the coastal communities of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, Washington. The study aims to sustain shellfish aquaculture in the two bays by establishing a collaborative ecosystem-based management framework to identify solutions to current challenges, such as ghost shrimp overpopulation, and to provide support for ongoing participation from tideland managers, owners and regulators.

To date, the WSG team leading this effort has successfully created for the first time a “working advisory group” comprised of stakeholders and completed a 2-day workshop to be followed by an online workshop this spring. Other outcomes include a literature review summarizing key ecological interactions and identifying knowledge gaps in coastal Washington’s shellfish aquaculture industry; a series of public workshops highlighting these knowledge gaps

Willapa Bay Oysters – A Documentary

Teri King, Marine Water Quality Specialist

This video documentary about Willapa Bay by Washington native Keith A. Cox captures the oystering livelihood and lifestyle that endure on Willapa Bay, southwest Washington, and define its spirit and tradition.

WSG supported the project and staff are working with the producer on hosting future film showings and an interactive display to accompany the film.