Improving Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture system design for the co-culture of seaweeds and abalone to mitigate the effects of climate change

Project Number
Project Date Range
Funding Agency
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Focus Area(s)
Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

Increased ocean acidification in the coastal zone of upwelling systems threatens abalone shell production and growth of juveniles and adults. Rising ocean temperatures decrease the growth and production of seaweeds that serve as abalone feed, and increased hypoxia has unknown effects on densely-stocked abalone aquaculture systems. Together these climate change effects create an existential crisis for marine shellfish aquaculture. 

The research team’s goal is to develop aquaculture techniques and infrastructure that can:

  1. Meet increasing seafood demand

  2. Buffer aquaculture operations from the deleterious effects of climate change

  3. Minimize the environmental impact of seafood production

  4. Economically incentivize the production of sustainable seafood at local, national and global scales

The team intends to build upon previous advancements in land-based Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems to create a single-tank system to further enhance abalone and seaweed growth, and reduce the impacts of multiple climate change stressors on shellfish aquaculture operations. 

Principal Investigators
Michael Graham
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories / San Jose State University
Co-principal Investigators
Scott Hamilton
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories / San Jose State University

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