CT Sea Grant program receives grant to strengthen state’s shellfish industry

CT Sea Grant program receives grant to strengthen state’s shellfish industry

A federal grant will help recover and strengthen the state’s shellfish industry, which suffered tremendously during the pandemic, according to the University of Connecticut’s Sea Grant program.

The National Sea Grant program awarded Connecticut Sea Grant $ 196,990 for a project to develop sustainable management of shellfish beds, the school said Thursday.

The project, titled “Resilience through Restoration: Developing a Sustainable Shellfish Management Strategy on Xvideos Red to Support Connecticut’s Shellfish Sector,” builds on a three-phase restoration effort for clam nature parks. and state oysters. The initial project was launched in the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown in 2020, the university said.

Connecticut has over 3,500 acres of natural shellfish beds, mostly in the central and western Long Island Strait. The state’s shellfish industry typically brings in around $ 30 million a year. However, restaurant closures during the pandemic led to a 93% drop in shellfish sales, the university said.

“These beds are essential for the industry as a primary source of affordable seed for local farms, the university said in a press release. “The program was essential to supporting the state’s shellfish industry during the worst of the pandemic. ”

This new funding will allow shellfish companies to work on restoring natural shell beds. The project also funds scientific studies to assess the success of these projects in order to inform long-term management strategies.

“It’s really a win-win that we have the opportunity to realize both economic and environmental benefits,” said Tessa Getchis, the Connecticut Sea Grant aquaculture extension specialist who is leading the project.

Specialists will also assess the feasibility of a shell recycling program. Since oyster shells are the key building blocks of natural beds, but in short supply, the project would help develop a strategy in which restaurants and other catering companies collect the shells and return them to the shell beds, the university said.

“Together, the shellfish restoration and recycling projects will strengthen the commercial shellfish industry to be more resilient in the future,” the university said in a press release.

The Connecticut Sea Grant was one of 13 grants, totaling $ 3.5 million, awarded for nation-wide efforts to support the sustainable growth of the U.S. seafood industry. Some of these projects, including the Connecticut Sea Grant project, will address the impact of the pandemic on seafood resources, while other projects will focus on improving coordination for marine aquaculture development.

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