In the Chesapeake

Dr. Fredrika Moser Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Yonathan Zohar, chair of the department of marine biotechnology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, discuss aquaculture. As usual, he had some interesting information to share, including a report in The Economist from 2016 that noted world aquaculture production exceeded that of beef. At the same time, however, data show that production in the United States is a fraction of the world total. Fisheries data clearly show many wild fish stocks are declining globally and will not keep up with the world's appetite for seafood. So how will the U.S. and the Chesapeake Bay region increase aquaculture production in a sustainable and economically viable way?

Growing seafood close to U.S. consumers makes ecological and economic sense, if we can do it without compromising the environment. Many researchers and entrepreneurs are thinking about how they can contribute to growing sustainable aquaculture in novel ways.

Having recently concluded two Maryland Sea Grant-sponsored aquaculture workshops, we are excited to bring this issue of Chesapeake Quarterly about "aquaculture beyond oysters" to our readers. Already oyster aquaculture thrives on both shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and Virginia's hard-clam industry leads in U.S. production of that species. In addition, though the numbers are small, wild populations of bay scallops occur in the coastal bays of Maryland and Virginia, and there is interest in building a bay scallop aquaculture industry.

But what about developing other species, such as seaweed, bronzini, and sablefish? Or, developing technologies (e.g., closed system aquaculture, algal-based feeds and biosecure production) for sustainably raising fish and shellfish? Who are the leaders in the estuary's aquaculture efforts, and what new discoveries have they made to bring us to a sustainable future?

This issue of Chesapeake Quarterly examines those questions. It sums up our latest oyster aquaculture efforts, bringing together researchers and growers to plot a course for a robust future in which scientists help to solve in-the-water problems. And it discusses research efforts aimed at understanding and developing sustainable aquaculture.

In addition, we introduce you to our latest class of Maryland and the District of Columbia Knauss Marine Policy Fellows. These talented graduate students will spend a year working in U.S. executive and legislative branch offices exploring the interaction between science and policy. Finally, don't forget to visit our back page to meet our newest staff members here at Maryland Sea Grant.

We hope you enjoy this issue and, as always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Fredrika Moser

Director, Maryland Sea Grant College 

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