Shellfish Aquaculture Act expected to boost economy

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(Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY,NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Federation says shellfish farmers are in store for a business boom. Last week, Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill that could grow the industry into a $100 million enterprise by 2030.

The Shellfish Aquaculture act establishes shellfish enterprise area that will ease the permitting and re-leasing processes and ensure that the sites growers are leasing won’t interfere with others at coastal waters. The act also initiates a mariculture program for growing oysters on the ocean floor and studies to reduce conflict and developing an effective crop insurance.

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Jon Haag has been in the commercial fishing industry for more than 20 years as the owner of Haag and Sons Seafood in Oak Island.

“This sort of plan enables a guy that wants to make a living on the waters will be able to make a living because we’ve seen so much of a reduction in all our seafood’s supply and harvest from lots of regulations,” Haag said.

The law also established two temporary leasing moratoria until 2021 to formally resolve conflicts in Bogue and Masonboro sounds.