Advancing saltwater fish farming

FORT PIERCE -- Estimates suggest that by 2020, population growth and other factors will lead to an increased seafood demand of up to 30 million tons. With current wild catches leveling or declining, the bulk of this demand will clearly have to be met by aquaculture, and some of the greatest potential for aquaculture expansion is in raising marine fish for food. On Oct. 20 and 21, industry, research, and government experts in this field from around the country and overseas will converge at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution for the 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference (www.sustainableaquaculture.org) to discuss new advances in both offshore and onshore aquaculture of saltwater fish. They will work to identify the most promising current commercial opportunities, including the potential for use of large cages to raise fish off Florida's coasts, and explore the implications of a recent historic and unprecedented endorsement of aquaculture by the Bush administration.

"Major strides have now been made in overcoming technological and regulatory hurdles to advancing marine fish aquaculture since our last conference in 2003," says Ken Riley, Harbor Branch aquaculture education director and conference organizer, "This year, we're excited about bringing everyone together again to specifically identify the most promising opportunities for commercialization."

At a press conference on Friday, Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m., speakers will explain the latest technological and political developments, and the most critical issues for those working to expand marine fish farming at commercial scales.

Following the press conference, samples will be available of hybrid striped bass raised in freshwater then transferred to saltwater prior to harvest to enhance flavor. The fish were used as part of a successful Harbor Branch-USDA study examining if poultry by products can be used to repl

Contact: Mark Schrope
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

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