FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina aquariums will receive funding over the next three years to build capacity to sustainably breed saltwater fish species and raise awareness about aquaculture through public engagement.
The funding is part of a $750,000 grant awarded to a group of seven facilities by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
With this support, Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, and Roanoke Island aquariums will increase the size of their animal care teams and expand breeding programs. In partnership with North Carolina Sea Grant, the Aquariums will engage aquarium visitors and their local communities on these important initiatives.
“Our Aquarium team is committed to sustainably breeding species that are of value to public aquariums and commercial fisheries,” said North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Director Hap Fatzinger. “This opportunity to put more resources into the aquaculture programs of North Carolina aquariums, especially to raise public awareness, is important to our mission to inspire appreciation and conservation of our aquatic environments.”
Aquaculture is the breeding and rearing of fish, shellfish, and other organisms. For commercially valuable species, it can reduce pressure on wild populations. For public aquariums, aquaculture provides a sustainable way to provide animals their habitats. It also presents a unique way to engage the public about sustainable seafood choices.