Sea Grant ‘StriperHub’ to Boost the East Coast Seafood Industry
Seafood Safety and Technology - News


Credit: NC State University / North Carolina Sea Grant.

Project to Provide Information on Striper, or Striped Bass, Found Along the Atlantic coast, Including in New York State’s Marine Waters

Includes information by Brooke Carney (National Sea Grant); Dave Shaw (North Carolina Sea Grant); Michelle Jewell (North Carolina State University); Michael Ciaramella (New York Sea Grant)

Contact: 

Michael Ciaramella, NYSG Seafood Safety & Technology Specialist, P: 631-632-8730, E: mc2544@cornell.edu

New York, NY, October 28, 2020 - Nine out-of-ten seafood products consumed in the U.S. are imported, totaling a $16 billion seafood trade deficit, and half of these imported fish were reared in aquaculture operations. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Sea Grant StriperHUB centered in North Carolina will address this deficit by developing striped bass as a candidate aquaculture species to strengthen the domestic seafood industry and boost the economies of coastal and rural communities of the U.S.

Currently, there is no appreciable aquaculture of white-fleshed marine fishes in the country, due to the limited number of candidate species. A candidate species has a premium price, high consumer demand, and adapts well to localized production environments. Research conducted over several years shows that striped bass meets all of these criteria. 

While hybrid striped bass is a successful freshwater aquaculture species, particularly in the South and Midwest ($50 million farm gate value 2018), there is an untapped demand for pure-strain marine striped bass by consumers in coastal states. Culturing striped bass as a candidate species allows for diversification of the industry to coastal areas as they can live in fresh or saltwater, unlike hybrid striped bass. However, both striped bass and hybrid striped bass see high market demand.

“We are building upon North Carolina State’s research and development of six generations of marine striped bass that have been bred in captivity,” explains Ben Reading from NC State’s Department of Applied Ecology. “In addition, the early reception from consumers and servers of traditionally wild-caught striped bass shows they love the farm-fresh taste, too.”

The StriperHUB, coordinated by North Carolina Sea Grant, integrates efforts from other Sea Grant programs, industry partners, government researchers, policymakers, and university scientists to consolidate and streamline striped bass commercialization efforts. This collaboration will define striped bass markets and economics of production, develop education and training programs, clarify regulatory permitting and licensing procedures, and promote comprehensive outreach and visibility among likely producers and consumers of this new seafood product, which will be available in markets along the Eastern U.S. Coast.

For its part, New York Sea Grant will: (a) coordinate extension and outreach efforts in the Northeast region to make the findings and resources of the StriperHub available to the Northeast Audience; (b) develop New York- and regional-specific outreach materials highlighting the information and resources relevant to the region; (c) work closely with local producers to help connect them to local markets, while creating marketing resources that can be used to connect the industry to commercial and retail buyers and consumers in the region.

Other Aquaculture Efforts

Sea Grant’s diverse aquaculture portfolio is as strategic as it is long-lasting. For over 50 years, Sea Grant has been at the cutting edge of exploring safe, sustainable possibilities for the U.S. aquaculture industry. Sea Grant-funded research continues to advance understanding about the many biological, environmental, legal, and social aspects of aquaculture. Extension efforts bring together stakeholders for critical idea exchange and provide technical training on all aspects of aquaculture from techniques and safety protocols to business development and marketing approaches.

In 2020, Sea Grant continued to engage in hundreds of aquaculture-related projects and ongoing efforts, leveraging federal dollars well beyond the federal investment with partnerships and collaborative efforts. This year, several established projects selected in previous years received continued funding, and many new initiatives were launched. 

In addition to the StriperHub, New York Sea Grant is leading and/or involved in three additional aquaculture projects from a recent pot of $16 million in federal funds. 

A three-year, $1 million, multi-state Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative project (led by Minnesota Sea Grant) designed to help Great Lakes states respond to consumer demand for freshwater fish and a $14 billion national seafood trade deficit identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service. 

In New York's marine waters, NYSG is designated for two additional projects, including: 

(1) A $1.2 million collaborative effort (led by NYSG) with Cornell University, Rutgers University, Stony Brook University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences to develop a hard clam selective breeding program to benefit clam farmers.

(2) A nearly $1.1 million collaborative effort (led by Connecticut Sea Grant) with partners in several states to establish a National Sea Grant Seaweed Hub to serve seaweed-related aquaculture stakeholders.

For more, also see "National Sea Grant Aquaculture Initiative: 2020 Update."


More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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