"Marine fish aquaculture is just about ready to take off as a large industry thanks to recent research. Our goal for this conference is to bring together researchers and industry from different regions and with different specialties to share the knowledge that's been generated and push the industry forward," says Dr. Megan Davis, director of HARBOR BRANCH's Aquaculture Division.
Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing sector in U.S. agriculture. The industry is worth roughly $1 billion a year in this country, up approximately 25% since 1995. Currently only about one tenth of this market is marine fish, mainly salmon along with some hybrid striped bass. However, as wild fish populations continue to decrease dramatically due to pressure from overfishing, the need for farm raised fish is growing. The scientists gathering this week at HARBOR BRANCH believe that if properly focused, the aquaculture industry can fill an increasing portion of that demand, in part through expansion in the commercial growth of additional marine fish species. For instance, Chilean sea bass, a popular saltwater fish, is severely overfished but might be replaced by black sea bass, which has a similar texture and flavor.
HARBOR BRANCH aquaculture researchers, in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Florida State University, and othersare leading the way to develop the technologies needed to make marine fish aquaculture profi
Contact: Mark Schrope
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution