Collaborative Workshop Promotes Science-Based Approach to Manage Shellfish Diseases

Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory (HSRL) joined with scientific colleagues, shellfish farmers, and government officials in October to explore options for improving management of oyster and clam diseases along the East Coast of the U.S., in light of the region’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

VIMS' Ryan Carnegie address workshop participants.

VIMS’ Ryan Carnegie addresses workshop participants.

The partners met at VIMS’ Gloucester Point campus for a two-day workshop whose goal, says VIMS Research Associate Professor Ryan Carnegie, was to “identify strategies for a regional, science-based approach to shellfish management, one that facilitates interstate commerce while minimizing health risks to cultured and wild populations.” Carnegie directs the Shellfish Pathology Lab at VIMS, which performs dozens of health evaluations for industry each year.

Health risks to shellfish include oyster diseases such as MSX, SSO, and Dermo; as well as the clam disease QPX. These diseases don’t affect humans, but they do threaten the health of infected shellfish (both farmed and wild), and the operations and profitability of shellfish growers.

Carnegie co-hosted the event with David Bushek, director of HSRL, VIMS colleague Karen Hudson, Rutgers New Jersey Sea Grant Aquaculture Progam Coordinator Lisa Calvo, and USDA’s Lori Gustafson and Lynn Creekmore of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services (APHIS VS). [Read more…]

The Oyster is Her World

NR14HaskinResearch1275_smA School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Honors Program scholar, senior Lauren Huey, is on a mission to save the Delaware Bay’s oyster population from a fatal disease. Read more on the Rutgers University–New Brunswick website.

Oyster farmers ride the wave of consumer tastes – Lawmaker offers his help to the shellfish growers

Aquaculture farmers in Middle Township are riding the leading edge of an oyster renaissance, a Rutgers marine scientist said recently, and last week independent growers in the area got the vocal support of a federal lawmaker in their pursuit to revitalize a once-great state industry…Not long ago, the lawmaker’s office reached out to Lisa Calvo, a Rutgers marine scientist working with eight oyster farmers in the township, and one in Cumberland County.

Read the entire article at Middle Township Gazette »

NSF Grant Awarded to Rutgers to Support Research on the Sustainability of Fisheries

Malin Pinsky

Malin Pinsky

Most of us enjoy eating fish and plan to continue eating fish into the future. But which local fish will be available in New Jersey? How will summer flounder and hake populations on the northeast continental shelf change as our climate warms and fisheries practices adapt? We currently do not know the answer to these questions, but we plan to learn more over the next four years thanks to a new grant announced by the NSF.

A Rutgers team, led by Malin Pinsky, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), will soon begin its research on fisheries and coastal communities in the northeastern United States under a $1.1 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This award is one of only nine national awards for the year by the Coastal SEES Research Program at NSF. [Read more…]

Ken Able Honored with NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Award

Ken Able addressing a local group with a focus on fish and fisheries research at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station.

Ken Able addresses a local fisheries group at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, NJ.

Ken Able, distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and director of Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) at Tuckerton, NJ, was chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award from NOAA Fisheries, Office of Habitat Conservation.

“The Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award is the most prestigious award in the country given in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the restoration and conservation of marine and coastal habitats,” said Rich Lutz, director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers. “What a wonderful honor it is for Rutgers to have one of its most sterling scientists recognized as the worthy recipient of this year’s Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.”

Able’s research at RUMFS focuses on the life history and population dynamics of larval and juvenile fishes in the relatively undisturbed Mullica River–Great Bay estuary and along the east coast of the U.S. In 1989, Able introduced weekly monitoring of larval and juvenile fishes in the estuary. This weekly monitoring, which continues today by RUMFS, is part of a broader analysis of issues of habitat quality for estuarine fishes in natural and impacted estuaries that stretches from New York Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Habitat conservation and restoration are increasingly important issues in the management of the nation’s coastal resources and for that reason, my colleagues and I from the Rutgers University Marine Field Station feel particularly honored by this award,” said Able.

[Read more…]