Public Perceptions of Aquaculture Development in Southern New England

Tracey Dalton (URI), Callan Yanoff (URI), Di Jin (WHOI), Mike Weir (WHOI), Gianna Lourenco (URI), Emma Janson (URI)

We are conducting a study to learn more about how people who live in Rhode Island and Massachusetts think about aquaculture farms, which are places in the ocean and estuaries where fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms are grown and harvested.

The project has 2 phases:

(1) Focus Groups (2021-22)

(2) Online Survey (2022-23)

Phase 1: We conducted focus groups in the summer of 2021 and had many important conversations about aquaculture farms and coastal use in Southern New England. In total, we held 15 focus groups, with 54 participants over 2 months. Through these discussions, we learned more about what people think and feel about different features of aquaculture farms.  Check out Callan Yanoff’s Masters thesis based on these focus groups, Opinions on the Halfshell: examining public perceptions of southern New England aquaculture

Phase 2: Information from the focus groups was used to develop an online survey.  If  you receive a postcard inviting you to take the online survey, please log-in and take the survey today!  You do not have to be an expert on shellfish aquaculture to complete the survey. You just need to live in Rhode Island or Massachusetts and be over the age of 18. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Dr. Tracey Dalton (URI Marine Affairs Professor) at or 401.874.6802.


If you want to learn more about aquaculture in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, check out these links:

NOAA Video (30 seconds): What is aquaculture?
State of Massachusetts Aquaculture Website
Rhode Island CRMC Aquaculture Website


2020 – Present
Funder: United States Department of Agriculture