SNAPP TEAM:Conservation Aquaculture
What are the social and ecological trade-offs of using aquaculture as a conservation tool for marine foundation species, and what are the responsible methods for using this approach?

This working group will assess the social and ecological trade-offs associated with using aquaculture to support the conservation of: 1) marine foundation species at the global scale, comparing the culturing of coral and oyster species for restoration worldwide, and 2) Olympia oysters at the local scale, assessing the potential for expanding aquaculture to support restoration efforts for the native oyster species on the West Coast. The team will develop tools with decision-makers, commercial growers, tribal communities, and conservation organizations that can be customized for regional use and yet are applicable to other systems.

Our Approach: The team will use a global synthesis to review and analyze aquaculture as a conservation intervention for marine foundation species, to address both human well-being and ecological uncertainty in coastal systems under climate change. Informed by the global assessment, they will combine data and expert knowledge from diverse stakeholders to develop tools to guide conservation aquaculture for Olympia oysters, integrating recommendations for the genetically responsible, ecosystem level management of the species.

This team is part of a cohort funded by the generosity of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to address the theme of Oceans, Climate and Equity.

Team Status: COMPLETED
Team Critical Challenges: Ocean Sustainability, Food and Freshwater
Key Products
Blog: Can We Save the Olympic Oyster by Eating It?

This blog article published in TNC’s Cool Green Science blog relays the research questions that motivated the Conservation Aquaculture working group, and some of the group’s key takeaways.

Conservation aquaculture as a tool for imperiled marine species: Evaluation of opportunities and risks for Olympia oysters, Ostrea lurida

This article identifies 12 benefits of culturing Olympia oysters, including identifying climate-resilient phenotypes that add diversity to growers’ portfolios. Additionally, the research identifies 11 key risks of culturing Olympia oysters, and 10 priority estuaries where aquaculture is most likely to benefit Olympia oyster recovery.

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Edwin Grosholz
University of California, Davis
April Ridlon
Science for Nature and People Partnership / National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis
Kerstin Wasson
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Tiffany Waters
Global Aquaculture, The Nature Conservancy
John Adams
Sound Fresh Clams and Oysters
Aric Bickel
SECORE International
Madhavi Colton
Coral Reef Alliance
Jamie Donatuto
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Gary Fleener
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Halley Froehlich
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California, Santa Barbara
Rhona Govender
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Boze Hancock
Global Reefs, The Nature Conservancy
Diego Lirman
University of Miami
Julio Lorda
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
Margaret Miller
SECORE International
Peter Mumby
University of Queensland
Betsy Peabody
Puget Sound Restoration Fund
Gifford Pinchot IV
Chelsea Farms
Joseph Pollock
Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy
Hollie Putnam
University of Rhode Island
Steve Rumrill
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Michael Tlusty
University of Massachusetts
Elizabeth Tobin
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Chela Zabin
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Danielle Zacherl
California State University, Fullerton
Julie Barber
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Vivian Barry
Suquamish Tribe Fisheries
Tsim Schneider
University of California, Santa Cruz
Stan Vandewetering
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
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