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CONTACT:
Bruce Smith 603-868-1095
Jane Vachon 603-271-3211
January 8, 2013

Public Hearing on Proposed Shellfish Aquaculture Operation - February 6, 2013

DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed marine aquaculture application for licensing on February 6, 2013, at 9:00 AM.  The hearing will be held at the Fish and Game Region 3 Office, 225 Main Street, Durham, N.H. 03824.  The public is welcome to attend the hearing and comment on the proposed aquaculture plan.

The aquaculture applicant, Fat Dog Shellfish, will be heard on its application for an upweller for nursery cultivation of oyster at Great Bay Marine, Newington, N.H. The proposed location is a boat slip similar to those available for recreational boats. (What's an upweller?)

A detailed plan is available for public review; click on link below or visit Fish and Game's Region 3 Office.

Written comments on the proposed license may be submitted at the hearing or thereafter until February 20, 2013.  Written comments may be: (1) mailed to the Executive Director, New Hampshire Fire and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; (2) faxed to 603-271-1438; or (3) emailed to bruce.smith@wildlife.nh.gov.

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What’s an Upweller?

It’s well known that oyster growth can be accelerated when they are suspended off the bottom.  This can be further optimized if the suspended oysters can be held in waters that have a flow of waters past them containing ample quantities of phytoplankton, the principal food source for oysters.  To accomplish this, an upweller is used which is simply a float from which oysters can be suspended in the water column.  To the observer, it looks like a raft with an inner well where oysters are hung and a surrounding walkway for access to the oysters.  To create a flow of water, a pumping system is used and this generates an upward movement of phytoplankton-rich waters past the oysters which draw in these nutrients as they naturally pump-feed themselves. 

By the use of an upweller system, oyster spat (young of the year) may be brought to a size that can be sold to a grow-out operation in a shorter period of time than spat held near the bottom.  What this may mean to an oyster aquaculturist is oysters may be brought to market size in two rather than three years in New Hampshire waters.


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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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