Fish Farming Harvest Clinic

UNH/NH Sea Grant research scientist, Michael Chambers coordinates a marine fish farming clinic at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex in New Castle, NH. Funded by Saltonstall Kennedy and NH Sea Grant, 8 local fishermen participated in the one day program. The fishermen learned how to harvest Steelhead trout (2 lb.) from a small 20’x20’ sea cage. The trout were placed on ice and delivered to restaurants and markets in Portsmouth and Portland. Afterwards, a new net was placed on the cage and juvenile trout were then transferred from the pier to the sea cage. These fish will be fed and maintained by the fishermen until they reach a market size of 3-4lbs by early December.  The old fish net was heavily fouled with juvenile blue mussels that naturally settle onto the net. The mussels add weight to the net and constrict water flow. However, they also filter feed and remove excess nutrients from the water. The valuable bio filters were removed from the net and reseeded onto growout lines or socked into poly tubing for growout. The mussel lines were then suspended around the cage platform to provide ecosystems services during and after fish growout.