MREP Expands, Adds Aquaculture

Tidings | Apr 20, 2020

A white motorboat with three fishermen aboard floats between five rows of black buoys in an aquaculture operation
Fishermen tending to an aquaculture operation.

For years, the Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) has convened scientists, fishermen, and managers to engage in the process of fisheries management. After years of success as an independent entity in New England, the program has expanded under GMRI direction to other regions, including the West Coast, Southeast, and Caribbean. In May, we launched a new MREP stream which explores offshore aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico as an extension of our MREP Southeast programming.

MREP Aquaculture convenes stakeholders from the commercial and recreational fishing communities, the traditional fishery science and management governing bodies, and academic and conservation communities. Together, they learn about the process of fish, shellfish, and algae aquaculture in U.S. waters.

"Like all MREP programs, MREP Aquaculture is a unique educational experience, designed for fishermen, by fishermen,” said MREP program manager Alexa Dayton. “We’re very excited to apply our collaborative model to the emerging opportunities presented by sustainable aquaculture.”

Attendees first participated in a three-day tour of Maine’s rapidly-growing aquaculture communities, starting in Portland. A follow-up three-day workshop took place this June in New Orleans, where participants developed a baseline understanding of the science, management, and economics related to aquaculture endeavors in the Gulf of Mexico.