NOAA Aquaculture Program Newsletter
December 2010

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NOAA Aquaculture Program

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SSMC3; 13th Fl., Route F
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Phone: 301-713-9079

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The NOAA Aquaculture Program got a holiday gift a little early this year!  It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Laura Hoberecht will be joining the NOAA Aquaculture team as our new Northwest Regional Coordinator.  Laura brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new position, having worked in the field of marine science for nearly 20 years.  She has worked for NOAA's Fisheries Service since 1997, initially participating in research in coastal regions of Alaska.  Since 2006, she has served as a Fishery Biologist for the Southwest Regional Office in California.  Her recent work has focused on California aquaculture, San Francisco Bay native oysters, eelgrass mapping, monitoring and mitigation, and benthic community recovery after disturbance.  You can read more about Laura on our staff page.  I know that the whole team is excited to have her aboard!

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I was asked to pinch hit for my boss, NOAA Fisheries Director Eric Schwaab, at a press conference to highlight the oyster shell recycling work of the Maryland Oyster Recovery Partnership and several dozen restaurants in the Washington DC area.  The Partnership works with oyster retailers to recycle oyster shell from restaurants and use them to restore natural habitat in the Chesapeake Bay.  Through outreach and on-the-ground projects, the Partnership seeks to restore oyster reefs, a critical component of the Bay's economic and ecological health.  The press conference was followed by the annual benefit "Oyster Riot" at Washington's historic Old Ebbit Grill. Read more...


Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee due January 3

Nominations are being sought for appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) beginning in January 2011. MAFAC is the only federal advisory committee with the responsibility to advise the Secretary of Commerce on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary to assist in the development and implementation of regulations, policies, and programs critical to the mission and goals of the NMFS. Nominations are encouraged from all interested parties involved with or representing interests affected by NMFS actions in managing living marine resources. View the announcement in the Federal Register.

'Sustainable Practices for Marine Cage Culture' Workshop held November 2 - 3

On November 2nd and 3rd, the NOAA Aquaculture and Coral Reef Conservation Programs hosted the 'Workshop for Development of Sustainable Practices for Marine Cage Culture Operations in the U.S. Caribbean.'  The purpose of this workshop was to exchange scientific and regulatory information and discuss environmental guidelines for sustainable marine cage culture operations in the Caribbean.  The workshop was attended by 30 people from federal and state agencies, scientific institutions, and individuals with experience operating and monitoring marine cage culture operations.  Read more...

Maine Sea Grant seeking Extension Associate

The Sea Grant Program at the University of Maine seeks an experienced, innovative professional with excellent communication skills for the position of Sea Grant Professional I (Marine Extension Associate - Aquaculture).  This is a full-time, 12-month appointment with potential for annual renewal.  Application review begins January 3, 2011.  Click here for more details.

Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification Finalized


The first global guidelines for aquaculture certification have been adopted by the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries, part of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.  The guidelines, which are non-binding, set minimum standards for animal health, food safety, the environment and socio-economic issues relating to aquaculture workers.  They will now go to the Committee on Fisheries when it meets in Rome in January 2011 for approval.  Read more...