History Channel Fishes For Modern Marvels Off New Hampshire Coast

Contact: Dolores Leonard
(603) 862-3685

Dec. 15, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. -- To find the latest technology in deep sea aquaculture, a film crew from the History Channel went fishing off the New Hampshire coast last October. The University of New Hampshire’s Open Ocean Aquaculture (OOA) project, and its research on lobster physiology and behavior, will be featured on the network’s popular Modern Marvels series Dec. 22, 2004 at 10 p.m. EST.

Checking the feed buoy on a winter day: Storms, high winds, and icy temperatures make the regular feeding of fish in a deep sea farm a substantial engineering challenge. UNH’s Open Ocean Aquaculture team has developed a wireless communications system that facilitates fish observation and feeding in any weather.

“Modern Marvels: Commercial Fishing” will trace the evolution of commercial fishing in the United States from colonial times to the present. How do you design a fish cage that stands up to New England’s notorious Nor’easters? How do you feed fish swimming 80 feet below the surface without getting your feet wet? How do you insure the practice is environmentally friendly and economically viable?

The program will explore the innovative technology developed by the OOA’s interdisciplinary team of researchers to answer questions like these as they farm cod, haddock, halibut, and blue mussels off the N.H. coast.

Lobsters also will be on the menu as the program presents techniques such as Lobster TV, which offers a window on the aggressive behavior of these feisty crustaceans. UNH researchers are using methods such as these to provide information on how to better manage New England’s lobster fishery, an integral part of the region’s cultural heritage and economy.

UNH’s Open Ocean Aquaculture project is part of CINEMAR, the Cooperative Institute for New England Mariculture and Fisheries. A joint institute between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CINEMAR provides regional leadership and integration for research, development, education, and outreach to support the use, management, and preservation of New England fisheries.