Friday, April 1, 2016

01/04/2016: Global Aquaculture Advocate: Dutch shellfish farmers bringing the sea onto land
Image: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
Oyster growers often have no other choice but to keep their enemies close, says James Wright in the Global Aquaculture Advocate.

Predators and pathogens — voracious sea stars, crabs, oyster drills and the persistent herpes virus that’s caused trouble for producers in Europe — are common and dangerous threats to their businesses.

A father-son team in the Netherlands is solving this problem not by removing the pathogen from the equation, but by removing the shellfish. Smit & Smit, which just began operations this winter, has established what they contend is the first fully land-based shellfish farm in the world. It’s located in the small town of Colijnsplaat, in the Zeeland province of western Holland.

Bivalve shellfish culture, for which there are many techniques being practiced in Europe, is a low-impact form of protein production, and is in fact seen as a net-positive for water quality, as the animals filter many gallons of water a day through their bodies, feeding on algae. So why move onto land, and indoors?

Sybe Smit, the son who’s given his father Sam’s innovative idea the energy and determination it needed to simply break ground last year, says taking full control of the shellfish’s environment has major benefits.

“We see a big opportunity,” Smit told the Advocate.

Read the full article HERE.

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