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Five Percent Ceiling Recommended for Rhode Island Aquaculture

US - Recommendations that no more than five percent of any water body in Rhode Island be devoted to aquaculture operations have been put forward a group of scientists and fishermen.

The proposals were made at the Coastal Resources Management Council last week by a biological subcommittee Working Group on Aquaculture Regulations. However, no action was taken as further research needs to be done.

According to reports by the Provincial Journal, the committee based its recommendations on the biological carrying capacity of local waters for shellfishing and on studies done elsewhere. It said it wanted to seek funding for studies that would finance local carrying capacities and doing more to monitor diseases for local fish farmers, who almost exclusively raise shellfish.

The state’s Coastal Resources Management Council, the agency regulating all coastal activities, has been actively promoting growth in the state’s aquaculture industry. However, there has been opposition from residents using Winnapaug Pond in Westerly and others using Point Judith Pond, which has the highest density of underwater platforms used to raise shellfish.

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Ellen Hardy

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