Supporting sustainable fishing and aquaculture economies and promoting safe seafood consumption
Delaware has long been a leader in the fishing industry by developing progressive catch management policies and advanced seafood processing technologies. Delaware Sea Grant is working with fishermen, state regulators, and citizens to keep that momentum going and explore promising new economic drivers like aquaculture.
Inland Bays Oyster Aquaculture
Delaware Sea Grant has been working with state managers and oyster growers to launch an oyster aquaculture industry based in the Inland Bays. These partnerships resulted in the first planting of oysters in Rehoboth Bay in 2018, with numerous leases ready for additional oyster spat.
To enhance shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays, Delaware Sea Grant has been collaborating with researchers and oyster farmers in order to come up with an effective solution for local shellfish marketing and aquaculture. A flourishing shellfish aquaculture market is expected to not only improve profitability for seafood markets and restaurants, but also improve water quality in the Inland Bays due to oysters' natural abilities to filter pollutants from the water.
Funded by Delaware Sea Grant, University of Delaware Professor Kent Messer led a group of researchers in a study to explore what consumers look for when purchasing oysters, as well as their reactions toward a new brand highlighting local oysters, using experimental economics. Find out more about the research.
Research & Development
Delaware Sea Grant has partnered with Delaware State University's Aquaculture Research and Demonstration Facility to conduct more R&D on oysters and other aquaculture fisheries. Research conducted in this facility include identifying fitting aquaculture species in the mid-Atlantic region and discovering appropriate techniques for management. It is currently the only one of its kind in the state of Delaware, and aims to contribute to the economic and environmental growth of local aquaculture production.
Delaware Sea Grant hosts workshops to teach farmers in the oyster industry the best practices for production and invite them to share their knowledge. Interested in participating in a workshop? Browse through our News & Events page for upcoming classes!
Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Program
Citizen scientists have been measuring Delaware's Inland Bays and tidal rivers for nutrients and harmful algae since 1991. This extensive record has enabled impactful research on algal blooms across Delaware's watersheds and played a key role in the safe implementation of oyster aquaculture in the Inland Bays.
Seafood Health & Technology
Seafood Health Facts Resource
Delaware Sea Grant is a founding partner of the Seafood Health Facts website, an online resource that helps consumers make smart choices about the seafood they eat. More than half a million people use the site each year.
Education and Training
Delaware Sea Grant organizes educational classes and training programs on a variety of seafood-related topics including, but not limited to, food safety, seafood safety issues, and sanitary science. Programs are designed for both consumers interested in learning more about seafood consumption and professionals involved in the seafood production industry. Interested in taking a class and/or training program? Check out our News & Events page for an up-to-date schedule!