UNH working on offshore fish farming

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
9 April 2007, at 1:00am

US - As a growing segment of the world population consumes fish on a regular basis, the United Nations predicts a 40 million ton global seafood shortage by 2030 unless something is done.

The projections have prompted a recent proposal by President Bush that would allow fish farming in federal waters for the first time. Fish farms already operate on inland and coastal waters within 3 miles of shore and are governed by state laws.

"As more and more consumers become aware of how they can improve their health by eating seafood, demand for seafood will surely keep rising," U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said recently in announcing the president's proposal. "The best way to meet that rising demand is by managing wild fisheries effectively and by expanding our seafood production through aquaculture. One of the biggest barriers to faster growth is a lack of access to suitable places to set up an open ocean farm."

However, offshore aquaculture is still three to five years away from being a cost-effective fish farming method in New England, according to Rich Langan, director of the University of New Hampshire's Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center.

"It's a pretty challenging undertaking," Langan said. "The technology that works for near-shore aquaculture isn't as effective as soon as it's exposed to the wind and waves of the open ocean. You can creep out with some improvements, but once you get into fully exposed waters, you're talking about a new type of technology."

Source: Portsmouth Herald