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Celebrate Aquaculture Week 2021

September 27, 2021

Join us for Aquaculture Week 2021. Marine aquaculture is vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience.

Man holding mussels in hand Fishmonger holds fresh aquacultured mussels at Ivy City Fish Market in DC. Credit NOAA Fisheries.
Farmed salmon and oysters
Farmed salmon and oysters. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Join us in celebrating Aquaculture Week. Marine aquaculture (or farmed seafood) is vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience. Aquaculture—the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments—is one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce protein.

Marine aquaculture is an important and growing U.S. industry with the potential to provide a significant sustainable supply of healthy seafood for domestic and global markets. The future of sustainable seafood must include both farm-raised and wild-capture seafood.

Seafood farming, if done responsibly as it is in the United States, is increasingly recognized as one of the most environmentally sustainable ways to produce food and protein. Marine aquaculture can expand and stabilize the U.S. seafood supply in the face of environmental change and economic uncertainty.

Check out the features below to dive a little into aquaculture.

Aquaculture Features

Leadership Message: Aquaculture Week

Aquaculture Week is our yearly opportunity to highlight the aquaculture community’s accomplishments and impacts. As we celebrate, it is important that we not downplay the impact of COVID-19 has had on our partner organizations, the seafood supply chain collectively, and our nation. While the challenges have been substantial, we want to recognize the commitment and resilience shown by the aquaculture community. 

NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit provides her perspective on advancing sustainable aquaculture in the United States.

Read the leadership message from Janet Coit

A researcher travels to deploy underwater video cameras to assess the ecological role and potential habitat benefits of a shellfish farm in Washington State.

Office of Aquaculture Updates State Aquaculture Regulatory Inventory Resources

U.S. aquaculture operations are subject to a complex array of regulations that growers sometimes find challenging. Recently, the Office of Aquaculture revised its state aquaculture regulatory resources to provide a clear source of finfish, seaweed, and shellfish permitting information.

See state-by-state aquaculture permitting reports

A collage showing photos of seaweed, finfish, and shellfish aquaculture.

Perspectives on Careers in Aquaculture

Meet the chefs, seafood farmers, and the aquaculture professionals who help bring seafood to our tables. 

Learn more about aquaculture careers from NOAA's Office of Education 

Profile photos of six aquaculture professionals who share their insights into the community.
Profiles of aquaculture professionals who help bring seafood to our tables.

New Report Highlights Alaska Aquaculture Priorities and Accomplishments

Explore projects and actions that support the growing Alaska aquaculture industry.

Learn more about Alaskan aquaculture priorities and accomplishments 

Harvesting Kelp in Alaska. Credit: Seagrove Kelp Co.
Harvesting Kelp in Alaska.

Eyes Underwater: Complementary Tools Can Determine How Fish Use Oyster Aquaculture Gear

Scientists document the underwater world of shellfish farms using video and environmental DNA.

Learn more about tools that determine how fish use oyster aquaculture gear

A group of small fish are visible through somewhat turbid water above the top of a metal oyster cage.
Scup and juvenile black sea bass swimming above an oyster aquaculture cage.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in Aquaculture

A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce can enhance innovation in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

Learn more about fostering diversity and inclusion in aquaculture

A selfie of Meta Mesdag on a boat, out on the water.
Salty Lady Seafood Co. owner Meta Mesdag shares a selfie from her shellfish farm.

Oyster Ninja Introduces New Audiences­­ to Shellfish

Meet the podcaster bringing fun facts—and freshly shucked oysters—to his listeners.

Learn more about the Oyster Ninja

The Oyster Ninja, Gardner Douglas, carefully trims a raw oyster from its shell. Photo credit: Gardner Douglas.
The Oyster Ninja, Gardner Douglas, carefully trims a raw oyster from its shell. Photo credit: Jay Flemming

Hawaiian Fishponds: Providing Physical and Cultural Sustenance

A growing network of fishpond practitioners and organizations from across ka paeʻāina o Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian archipelago) are restoring the region's traditional aquaculture ponds.

Learn more about Hawaiian fishponds

Seven community members wide through shallow water to move and stack rocks for pond structure restoration.
Community members come together to restore the walls of a traditional Hawaiian fishpond. Photo: Mark Holladay, courtesy of KUA.

Digging Up Diversity Opportunities on Shellfish Farms

As a farm manager at Taylor Shellfish, Aisha Prohim draws on her agricultural background to raise seafood and increase diversity in the aquaculture industry.

Learn more about Aisha Prohim and her work fostering opportunities

Aisha Prohim kneels to collect oysters from the mud at Taylor Shellfish.
Farm manager Aisha Prohim wears hip waders while harvesting oysters at Taylor Shellfish in Washington. Photo courtesy of Aisha Prohim.

Highlighting Aquaculture SK Grants

Queen Conch Aquaculture Partnership in Puerto Rico Supported by NOAA Fisheries Grant

A first of its kind partnership is restoring queen conch and building opportunities for community involvement in species restoration.

Learn more about the queen conch aquaculture partnership

Three queen conch researchers working inside the Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery in Puerto Rico
Inside Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery in Puerto Rico. From left to right – Victoria Cassar, Hatchery Manager; Raimundo Espinoza, Executive Director, Conservación ConCiencia and Co-PI on SK NOAA grant; Megan Davis, Research Professor, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and PI on SK NOAA grant.

NOAA-Supported Aquaculture Projects Seek to Build Hawaiʻi Seafood Sustainability

Aquaculture projects with Hawaiian sea cucumbers and goatfish could benefit ancient fishponds and commercial aquaculture operators. 

Learn more about NOAA-supported aquaculture projects

One white goatgish and three red kumu fish swimming.
White saddle goatfish / kumu (Parupeneus porphyreus) at Kure Atoll in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Credit: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries/James Watt

Last updated by Office of Aquaculture on November 08, 2021

Aquaculture Sustainable Seafood