NHIRC Awards Grant For
Local Company Focused On Refining Commercial Cod Production
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
July 27, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. – The New Hampshire Industrial Research Center
at the University of New Hampshire has awarded a $60,000 grant
to a Portsmouth company that is working with a zoology professor
to improve the commercial cod industry and substantially expand
economic opportunities for fishermen.
GreatBay Aquaculture is the only commercial marine hatchery producing flounder
and cod in the United States, competing with Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom
in cod production, and Korea, China and Japan in flounder production. The company
is concentrating its commercial efforts in New England on cod, which represents
a much larger market than flounder.
The grant, which supports a two-year $120,000 joint study with David Berlinsky,
assistant professor of zoology, will focus on understanding, quantifying and
reducing stress during transport, transfer, grading and inoculation activities.
If this project is successful, GreatBay Aquaculture believes it can grow its
cod production to 3,000 tons within five years, creating 20 to 30 jobs, sales
of more than $12 million, and profits of more than $2 million,” GreatBay
Aquaculture co-founder George Nardi said. “Given the ratio of fishing industry
workers to fishermen, we can project a substantial impact on the state economy.”
Nardi believes the research undertaken at the Great Bay facility
and at UNH will further the understanding of stress, leading
to improved production performance.
GreatBay would like to produce the highest quality juveniles available.
To do this we have to understand stress and how this impacts the
fish. It’s our job to reduce stress and to produce healthy
juveniles for the developing industry. Such a juvenile will perform
better during grow-out, have higher survival and represent ultimately
the best value and quality available for the consumer,” Berlinsky
Most commercial salmon sold in the state comes from aquaculture.
In Europe, aquaculture provides about 50 percent of fish sold.
The New Hampshire fishing industry is an important part of our
economy. Many people do not realize that only 10 percent of its
jobs are at sea. Processing, distribution and retail make up 90
percent of the jobs. Over-fishing has reduced the supply of fish
and has led to federal restrictions on the harvest of natural fish.
Aquaculture now provides an increasing fraction of fish to support
the fishing industry,” said Henry Mullaney, executive director
of the NHIRC.
Located at UNH, the NHIRC was created in 1991 by the New Hampshire
Legislature to provide a mechanism to promote applied and basic
scientific, engineering, and associated marketing research and
technological transfer to support improvements and efficiencies
in the New Hampshire industrial and business community. The NHIRC
is funded by the state of New Hampshire through its Department
of Resources and Economic Development.