Manna Ocean Foundation is opening new offices and operations at 22 Inlet Road, Southampton, New York. The Foundation plans to operate educational programs in the restaurant and hatchery on the property, as well as implement plans to support seafood promotion, marketing, and aquaculture training.
Manna Ocean Foundation programming will be designed to confront the several challenges currently facing deep-sea mariculture…
- Technical or mechanical limitations of the growing and harvesting equipment;
- Lack of academic studies that demonstrate the commercial viability of deep-ocean aquaculture;
- A lack of consumer awareness for the benefits of deep-sea mariculture;
The Foundation will address these systematic limitations by developing the following programs:
- Aquaculture Education Programs: These programs will target both children and adults, with the general purpose being to educate the public about the need for land, bay, and deep ocean aquaculture to sustainably produce seafood to feed the world’s rapidly expanding population.
- Child Education Programs — Education programming will target children by stimulating their interest in the science, technology, and engineering of aquaculture. Sensorial and experiential learning will play a key part of the childhood education program. The program will make every opportunity to engage the participant’s opinions on responsible consumerism, sustainable food choices, and the resource potential of land based aquaculture and deep-sea mariculture. In addition to hands-on learning experiences, the program hopes to create original media on the subject of deep ocean mariculture, such as a series of children’s books and/or television series.
- Adult Education Programs — As a part of its adult education programming, MOF intends to host and participate in oceanographic, culinary, and sustainability conferences to drive the awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating seafood raised and harvested through aquaculture.
- Technological Expertise Education Program — Since deep ocean mariculture is a developing industry, technical professionals at every level of engagement will need extensive training in order to integrate themselves into the emerging industry. For example, diver safety training programs and courses must be developed, and new divers will need to be certified in order to perform the “farming” on the deep ocean cages where the fish will be grown and harvested. As an additional example, professional fish hatcheries will need to alter their practices in order to spawn and cultivate different species of fish. Manna Ocean Foundation will sponsor the development of technical expertise criteria that will meet the needs of the emerging industry. Individual participants will be eligible to utilize these new skills without restriction in the mariculture industry.
- Technical Challenge Grants: Grants will be awarded to sponsor, subsidize, or encourage nonprofit institutions, universities, and private industry collaborators to develop and deploy new equipment and technologies to support offshore farming operations.
3. Research Institute: As a part of its 5-year strategic plan, Manna Ocean Foundation will create a research institute and hatchery program to support aquaculture expansion, which will serve as an industry training center, an eco-tourism center, and an education center.