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Lease Approval Could Signal Arrival of Commercial Cod Farming

by Ellen Hardy
6 March 2008, at 12:00am

US - Pen-raised Atlantic cod may be grown commercially for the first time in Maine if an experimental aquaculture lease application by co-applicants Great Bay Aquaculture and James West is approved.

Following a public hearing on 20 February, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) began its review of the permit application.

The aquaculture company seeks a three-year, experimental lease for net pen culture of Atlantic cod in Frenchman Bay just south of Preble Island.

The 1.863-acre permit site sits within West’s existing 35.66-acre lease site for mussel farming in the bay. West plans to work with the aquaculture company in an advisory capacity. The cod farming pens will exist separately from his mussel fishery. If it can garner enough grant money, Great Bay Aquaculture will add mussels to its research.

Commercial cod farming is relatively new to North America. Since 2002, it has taken off in Norway, where private producers collectively yield around 22 million pounds per year of the farmed finfish.

Great Bay is the first commercial hatchery in the United States to produce juvenile Atlantic cod for the aquaculture industry.

Source: TheEllsworthAmerican

Ellen Hardy