Shellfish are Feeling the Love Nationwide

North Carolina Makes Shellfish a Priority.

August 10, 2018

NC invests in shellfish comeback with an statewide initiative

North Carolina is officially joining a national effort to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental importance of shellfish. The statewide initiative is modeled after the National Shellfish Initiative, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) program to increase the shellfish population in the nation’s coastal waters.

North Carolina’s program sets four goals: job creation, protection of water quality, protection of shellfish health and sustainable management. Those goals match North Carolina Sea Grant’s programs.

"North Carolina Sea Grant is proud to be among the federal, state and community partners working within the initiative," says Susan White, Ph.D., executive director of North Carolina Sea Grant. "The range of topics includes not only shellfish restoration and mariculture, but also ecosystem management and enhancement, workforce and career development, growing the industry through sustainable practices, seafood safety, and even consumer education and marketing."

The state’s shellfish initiative provides a vehicle to leverage existing partnerships, grant programs and regulatory authorities among state agencies, local governments, the federal government, the shellfish industry and nonprofit groups.

“North Carolina has a history of collaboration among public, private and academic sectors to transform ideas into actions that advance shellfish restoration and mariculture,” said Ken Riley, Ph.D., a marine ecologist with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Service. “NOAA is pleased to partner with the state to contribute tools and expertise for siting shellfish farms and oyster restoration projects, which increase opportunities for sustainably harvesting shellfish.”

North Carolina is the sixth state in the country and the first in the southeast to follow the federal model and establish an initiative to increase shellfish.

 —Frank Graff 

Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on Sci Tech Now North Carolina, a weekly science series that airs Tuesdays on UNC-TV. In addition to producing these special segments, Frank will provide additional information related to his stories through this North Carolina Science Now Reporter's Blog!