Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s aquaculture industry grew by 7 percent last year despite icy conditions in coastal waters.

Frozen coastal ponds meant individual growers harvested less shellfish than the previous year, according to David Beutel, aquaculture coordinator with the state Coastal Resources Management Council.

“However because in 2015 we had more growers than we had the year before, overall the state's production was up,” said Beutel. “It did balance out for an overall increase.”

The demand for oysters is driving that overall growth, he said.

Rhode Island's Aquaculture Industry Continues to Grow

Apr 25, 2013

Aquaculture, the practice of farming fish and shellfish in the sea, is doing well in the Ocean State.

The good news for aquaculture farmers is the industry is growing. The Coastal Resources Management Council says the number of aquaculture farms increased in the last year from 43 to 50.  The industry contributes 105 jobs to the local economy. CRMC’s David Beutel said the industry is healthy and will be able to adapt to climate change.

“That will be a change to our industry," he said. "But that is something that will be more easily handled.”