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Registration Opens for 2021 NC Aquaculture Development Conference


Katie Mosher,
Eric Herbst,  or 252.222.6314

Registration is now open for the 33rd Annual North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference. With virtual sessions this year, the event will bring the general public together with current and prospective fish and shellfish farmers, scientists, and experts from state and federal agencies to discuss updates and opportunities for the industry.

The conference will be March 18th through the 20th. See the full agenda for scheduled events.

North Carolina Sea Grant is among the sponsors of the conference, along with North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina Wilmington, North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Got to be NC Seafood), North Carolina Aquaculture Association, North Carolina Farm Bureau, and North Carolina Cooperative Extension (NC State and NC A&T State Universities).

“The pandemic has precluded a traditional in-person conference this year, however the planning committee has done a fantastic job of shifting to an all-virtual event and maintaining the original schedule,” says Eric Herbst, Sea Grant’s coastal aquaculture specialist.

“I look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone — and anticipate the chance to learn from one another, strengthening existing connections, and making new ones,” adds Herbst, who will provide an update from North Carolina Sea Grant and serve as moderator for the Shellfish Mariculture Session.

The conference also will offer a full session on hybrid striped bass with four talks focusing on NOAA Sea Grant’s StriperHub, a $1.2M award from the 2019 Sea Grant Advanced Aquaculture Collaborative Programs competition. The project supports establishing a striped bass aquaculture industry in the U.S. and is centered here in North Carolina.

The conference also will include updates on other North Carolina Sea Grant-supported projects: the North Carolina Oyster Trail (an economic development initiative); The North Carolina Shellfish Farming Academy (a workforce and business development initiative); Spat on Shell (a pilot project looking at establishing oyster reefs for commercial harvest); Shellcast (a novel web-based app to predict shellfish harvest closures); black sea bass production; and shellfish diversification with bay scallops and sunray venus clams.

Anyone with an interest in fish or shellfish farming is invited, including prospective growers, researchers, teachers, students or people with agency jobs related to aquaculture, as well as people who sell goods or services to the aquaculture industry.

Register here. For more information about NC Aquaculture and the NC Aquaculture Development Conference, visit the conference Facebook Page. Be sure to “like” the page to stay up to date on this year’s conference and other ongoings for the industry.

More information, including a video link, is available here:

For more information, contact Eric Herbst:  or 252.222.6314

Editors and producers seeking photos should contact Eric Herbst or Katie Mosher.