Shellfish management plan to emphasize aquaculture

Jan 16, 2013

Scallop shells via Flickr Creative Commons

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state is continuing to work on a new shellfish management plan. Aquaculture is one area of concern for state regulators and shellfish harvesters.

The sea farming industry has grown over the past 10 to 15 years in coastal ponds. Roger Williams University Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Dale Leavitt, says the state has limits on the total size of aquaculture farms within those ponds. They can take up no more than 5 percent of the total surface area. Leavitt says that one area of concern in the new shellfish management plan is having enough space for long-term growth.

“While none of the ponds, I mean, haven’t met that 5 percent level," says Leavitt. "It’s still something that everyone is watching fairly closely.”

Leavitt says there’s talk of increasing the allotted space. He says the overall goal is to create a smart plan… one that balances out various needs of competing industries and interests.

A public meeting on aquaculture will take place at 1 o’clock this afternoon at the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus.

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