Aquaculture

Impacts from the Summer 2021 Heatwave on Washington Shellfish

July 21, 2021

The record-breaking heat that hit the Pacific Northwest from June 23 to 28, 2021, caused harm to many intertidal shellfish and invertebrate species on Washington beaches.

On many beaches, species such as cockles, varnish clams, butter clams, and native littleneck clams—normally buried out of sight—popped to the surface of the substrate in large numbers. Manila clams were also impacted in some areas. Surfaced clams were observed to be gaping, a sign of stress, or had already died from the ...

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Researchers Discover Yessotoxins, Produced by Certain Phytoplankton, to be a Culprit Behind Summer Mass Shellfish Mortality Events in Washington

June 17, 2021

Back in the summers of 2018 and 2019, the shellfish industry in Washington state was rocked by mass mortalities of its crops.

“It was oysters, clams, cockles — all bivalve species in some bays were impacted,” said Teri King, aquaculture and marine water quality specialist at Washington Sea Grant based at the University of Washington. “They were dying, and nobody knew why.”

Now, King and partners from NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Northwest ...

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New Indigenous Aquaculture Website

May 20, 2021

The Cross-Pacific Indigenous Aquaculture Collaborative has launched a new website to inform and bring communities together to enhance and grow sustainable coastal food systems. 

Visit the website here!

Did you know that Hawaiian fish ponds once produced 400-600 pounds of fish per acre each year? Sustainable indigenous aquaculture has endured for millennia, and these systems will continue to unite ecosystems and cultures, as well as expand our food connections throughout the Pacific.

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New Video: Swinomish Community Visits a Clam Garden

April 28, 2021

“Our coast Salish people had methods of cultivating the natural environment to support the ecosystems but also to feed the people,” says Alana Quintasket, senator for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. “And a clam garden is one example of that.” However, clam gardens have been dormant for hundreds of years in many of places that they used to exist. The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is currently working toward reviving the ancient mariculture practice in modern-day Washington.

Not only does this ...

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Estimating the Socioeconomic Benefits of SoundToxins, an Early Warning System for Harmful Algal Blooms in Puget Sound

February 3, 2021

Washington Sea Grant, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the Washington Department of Health received federal funding to quantify SoundToxins impact

Washington Sea Grant (WSG), the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) and the Washington Department of Health (WDOH) have received a grant for $279,926 from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Centers for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (NCCOS CSCOR) to estimate the socioeconomic benefits of SoundToxins, an early warning system for harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Puget Sound.

In ...

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Washington Sea Grant Receives Federal Funding to Track Aquaculture Production

January 27, 2021

National Sea Grant awarded $4.7 million total to strengthen the economics of the U.S. aquaculture industry 

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has been awarded $376,990 in federal funding for a project to collect and analyze data that will assist in sustainable shellfish aquaculture management and development. This is one of 12 research projects selected by the National Sea Grant College Program to advance the understanding of the economics of aquaculture businesses and provide the industry with important market information to ...

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Send Your Ideas: What Are the Best Pacific Northwest Oyster Stories?

October 19, 2020 

“Shuck, slurp, repeat.”

Washington Sea Grant is proud to announce its plan to revise and update the popular book, Heaven on the Half Shell: The Story of the Northwest’s Love Affair with the Oyster.

Heaven on the Half Shell tells the true story of oyster farming in the Pacific Northwest. Informative text and engrossing historic and contemporary photos showcase the efforts of pioneering aquaculturists, scientists, field technicians, oyster connoisseurs and others who ...

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Welcome To Our New Aquaculture Specialist

October 15, 2020

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) is excited to welcome Nicole Naar as a new aquaculture specialist.

Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, Nicole developed a love for marine science while spending summers at the beach. Although her interests shifted to social science while she attended college at Emory University, as an applied ...

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New Video Explores the Power of Kelp

June 17, 2020 

Kelp absorbs carbon dioxide and other nutrients from seawater as it grows, potentially improving conditions for shellfish and other species. Can we harness this power of kelp by farming kelp and oysters together? In partnership with Washington Sea Grant, a team of leading researchers set out to find the answer to that question. Watch the video below to learn more about the project.

Learn more about Washington Sea Grant’s work in kelp aquaculture Read More

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Community Science Volunteers are as Important as Ever During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 17, 2020

By Brandon McWilliams, WSG Science Communications Fellow 

On a normal spring day along the Puget Sound, chances are good that one of the people enjoying the coast is also doing scientific research. Many projects at Washington Sea Grant (WSG) rely on dedicated teams of volunteers to keep tabs on conditions along our coast. These volunteers do everything from monitor invasive European green crab populations with WSG Crab Team, to checking toxic algae ...

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WSG Response to COVID-19

Updated December 10, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact all aspects of society, Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has been mobilizing its resources to support communities and stakeholders across the state:

  • Washington Sea Grant resource pages for Washington State fishers
  • Washington Sea Grant  resource pages for families and educators
  • Washington Sea Grant  resource pages for the shellfish industry in the state
  • WSG and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are partnering with commercial fishermen to increase awareness of Washington ...
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Seaweed Farming Intensive Training Helps Kickstart a New Local Industry

February 20, 2020

There has been a lot of recent interest in kickstarting a seaweed industry in Washington. But is it currently possible? If you want to become a kelp farmer, where do you even start?

Earlier this month, Washington Sea Grant (WSG) hosted a Seaweed Farming Intensive Training to help aspiring seaweed farmers and entrepreneurs answer these and other questions. The first event of its kind in the state, the three-day training covered everything from local seaweed ecology, how to ...

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