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North Carolina’s shellfish mariculture industry gets new facility

Carteret Community College (CCC) in Morehead City, North Carolina, is building a 2,500-square-foot mariculture demonstration facility that will serve the state’s growing shellfish mariculture industry.


April 12, 2019
By Liza Mayer

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A new mariculture demonstration facility will serve North Carolina’s growing shellfish mariculture industry Carteret Community College (CCC) in Morehead City

To be called the North Carolina Shellfish Mariculture Demonstration Center, the facility will provide training opportunities for students of the college’s aquaculture program and new growers.

“The shellfish mariculture industry in North Carolina is growing really quickly, and there’s a need for more training opportunities,” says CCC Aquaculture Department chairman Dave Cerino. “We do offer that kind of training, but we didn’t have really strong opportunities to do hands-on grow-outs here.”

The facility includes a covered pavilion area that will shelter nursery systems and flow-through sea water systems, and an outdoor work area for building gear, sorting and performing maintenance on bags and cages. It also has a 2.6-acre lease for on-bottom grow-out, where demonstrations of various gear types for oyster aquaculture will also be held.

“We will have a more fully integrated system where we teach the hatchery portion of shellfish aquaculture in our curriculum programs,” says Cerino. He said the college plans to expand its continuing-education programs for shellfish aquaculture. ”They’ll have good facilities to get the hands-on experience to accompany the classroom curriculum they’ll be learning here,” he said.

The facility is a result of partnership between CCC, North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina State University Center for Marine Science and Technology. The $200,000 project was funded by NOAA Sea Grant.

Construction is expected to finish this spring.