A new shrimp farm on Rota has begun raising its first crustacean crop with the help of Northern Marianas College staff.
The farm's start comes as lawmakers and local business leaders are eying the aquaculture industry as a prospective economic boom for the Commonwealth.
It also coincides with legislators weighing up a bill to establish import restrictions on Rota to safeguard future aquaculture operations against disease.
Aquaculture is a multi-million dollar business according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The NOAA says worldwide aquaculture production nets an estimated US$70 billion annually with significant potential for growth in the U.S. market.