Researchers from UNH’s Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center have been raising finfish in the open ocean since 1999. Atlantic cod, haddock, halibut, and flounder—the fish we farm are all native to the Gulf of Maine and important commercial species. They also share an uncertain future.
Like many other wild capture species, stocks for these species have reached historic lows in recent years. We have been exploring the potential of offshore farming as a way to alleviate pressure on these fisheries and meet growing consumer demand. From hatch to harvest, our research encompasses every aspect of offshore finfish culture. Eight years of research and development have shown the practice has great potential.
Here’s what our data tells us:
- Farmed fish thrive in the harshest offshore conditions.
- Mooring and cage systems can withstand ocean forces when they are the result of innovative engineering combined with rigorous field-testing.
- Remotely controlled operations make the management of offshore farms safer and more efficient.
- Given proper location, species selection, system design, and husbandry practices, the impact of an offshore farm on the surrounding environment is negligible.