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Aquaculture efforts now paying off

US - Aquaculture, the cultivation of aquatic plants and animals, is also part of the farming picture in Essex County.

The North eastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center at Salem State College has worked with local clammers to grow clams and place them in the Rowley River in Rowley and Ipswich. They have continued to mature and reproduce.

"It jumped from nothing in 2000 to 12.5 acres in cultivation now," said Joe Buttner, a biology professor at Salem State. "It's perpetuating a tradition and creating a commercial industry."

Jack Grundstrom, a third-generation clammer and the Rowley shellfish constable, said aquaculture is "a benefit we didn't expect." He has worked with the aquaculture center on restocking the river for several years.

"Now, we're at the point we're taking some payback," said Grundstrom, whose children and grandchildren also clam, making it a five-generation tradition in the family. "Things are looking really good."