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Partnership Profiles: A Queen Conch Hatchery and the Local Fish Initiative

October 31, 2022

Partnerships are essential to the success of NOAA Fisheries work and mission. One of the agency's most effective tools for channeling funds to partners is the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Competition.

2592x1728-San-Diego-Docks-2015-LianaHeberer_NOAA.jpg Rainbow in the dusk sky at San Diego Harbor. Credit: NOAA/Liana Heberer.

The Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Competition annually funds about 40 projects that lead to the promotion, development and marketing of U.S. fisheries. On this episode, we spotlight two of those projects and hear a little about the ground-level (or sea-level!) work happening around the country.

Our first profile dives into The Naguabo Aquaculture Center, which is helping their community by working to restore their conch fishery in the Carribean. The hatchery and nursery for queen conch in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, is also the first to partner with a local fisheries association. We talk with Dr. Megan Davis, a Research Professor at Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch, Oceanographic Institute, and one of the founders of The Naguabo Aquaculture Center.

Inside Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery in Puerto Rico
Photo 1: Inside Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery in Puerto Rico. From left to right – Victoria Cassar, Hatchery Manager; Raimundo Espinoza, Executive Director, Conservación ConCiencia and Co-PI on SK NOAA grant; Megan Davis, Research Professor, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and PI on SK NOAA grant. Photo 2: Hatchery-reared Queen Conch juvenile from the Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery on a seagrass blade. Age is approximately 1.5 month after metamorphosis and the conch size is about 4-5 mm. Credit: Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery.
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Tanner Saraspe holds a squid
Tanner Saraspe. Credit: The Local Fish Initiative.

Our second profile is of one of our partners who is helping their local fishing community on the business side of the seafood equation. The project is called The Local Fish Initiative—local in this case meaning San Diego, California. The goal of the project is to create a model for small-boat commercial fishermen to get their catch onto local plates and to do it sustainably, both for the health of the fisheries and for the livelihoods of the fishermen. Tanner Saraspe, co-founder of The Local Fish Initiative, joins us to discuss the ins and outs of the project.

Listen in to hear how these projects are working to restore and strengthen U.S. fisheries.