By Julia Robins, Staff Writer
Four Hampton University students became ambassadors this summer—aquaculture ambassadors, that is. The students are part of the Virginia Sea Grant-funded Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors (SFAA) program, a new collaboration between Hampton University (HU) and Virginia Tech (VT).
“The main thrust for the SFAAs is to learn about all aspects of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, to develop public outreach tools for the public, and then to use those tools in public outreach venues such as Bay Days and other events around the area,” says Michael Schwarz, VT Aquaculture Specialist affiliated with Virginia Sea Grant who heads the SFAA program. “The main goal is for them to learn about local seafood, fisheries, and aquaculture so that they can inform the general public.”
Since last year, the SFAAs have been researching and studying seafood quality and safety, production, post-harvest handling, and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries at VT’s Seafood Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AREC). They have also been learning how to provide effective outreach on fisheries and bay education in the Hampton Roads area.