North Carolina Sea Grant
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News Releases

March 11, 2019 | Dave Shaw


Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,

UPDATE: Early Bird registration expires after March 22. 

The annual North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference will launch at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, at Carteret Community College in Morehead City. North Carolina Sea Grant specialists and a wide range of other experts will lead concurrent sessions on freshwater aquaculture and mariculture.

This year, conference planners condensed the event into one day, due to lack of available lodging in light of Hurricane Florence. But Chuck Weirich, marine aquaculture specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant, says the programming nonetheless will offer a significant amount of information to prospective and current aquaculture producers.

“This is an especially important time in our state to be engaged in the latest aquaculture news and science,” Weirich says. “This conference is a great way for a wide range of stakeholders to stay updated and involved.”

Conference participants will include a broad spectrum of people with an interest in finfish or shellfish farming: prospective growers, researchers, teachers, students and agency personnel with jobs related to aquaculture, as well as people who sell goods or services related to the industry.

Weirich will open the conference’s mariculture morning sessions for prospective and new shellfish growers. Special sessions explaining siting and leasing will follow. Then, Weirich will team with Carteret Community College’s Dave Cerino for a session on farming methods and business planning for newcomers to the field.

Cerino, a long-time partner on North Carolina Sea Grant initiatives, also will lead a session on learning opportunities, before a mariculture industry update will close out the morning’s programming for prospective shellfish growers.

Afternoon mariculture sessions will appeal to veteran growers especially and will include North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association meetings. Weirich then will provide the latest information on Hurricane Florence disaster relief. After an update on the Shellfish Mariculture Plan, Weirich and Cerino will partner with University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Ami Wilbur to offer an overview of new mariculture research.

The conference’s mariculture sessions will conclude with a market trends panel, featuring Barry Nash, North Carolina Sea Grant’s seafood technology and marketing specialist, and Tres Hundertmark, champion oyster shucker with N.C. Oyster 365.

In addition, the many sessions for attendees interested in freshwater aquaculture include an update on the latest science from NC State University’s Ben Reading. North Carolina Sea Grant previously funded Reading’s research on hybrid striped bass and striped bass.

After the sessions wrap up, “Shuck, Rattle and Roll” will showcase seafood that current and former Carteret Community College students have produced. The menu will feature raw and steamed oysters and clams, striped bass, steamed shrimp, and more, including barbeque.

North Carolina Sea Grant supports the North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference, along with other state partners who also serve on the conference’s planning committee.

For more information and to register, visit

To register for “Shuck, Rattle and Roll,” visit


North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast



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