Choosing the proper location for a fish farm is key to minimizing environmental impact. Early nearshore farms operations were located in protected waters for operational convenience. Unfortunately, in shallow waters with less circulation, excess fish feed and waste can build up on the ocean floor, leading to an oxygen-poor environment in which many bottom-dwelling species cannot survive.
This impact can be reduced significantly by employing strategic site selection criteria. Our demonstration site was selected after careful evaluation of oceanographic conditions off the New Hampshire Coast, and discussion with the commercial fishing community and other user groups. We selected an area that had physical characteristics best suited to the project, would not cause harm to sensitive marine habitats, and would not create conflict with fishermen, recreational boaters, or commercial navigation.
The demonstration site is located approximately one mile south of White Island, within the state waters of New Hampshire. It occupies 30 acres of relatively flat sandy, silt seabed. The farmís moorings are anchored approximately 55 meters below the surface. The deep water and high circulation reduce the likelihood of impact of excess nutrients from feed or waste. A rigorous monitoring program has detected no measurable environmental impact from our activities.