Celebrating Aquaculture Week 2020

September 22, 2020

Learn how marine aquaculture—or farmed seafood—is vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, providing year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience.

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This week NOAA Fisheries and our partners will celebrate National Aquaculture Week. NOAA Fisheries and its predecessor agencies have been involved in aquaculture for more than 125 years. We pioneered fish culture methods and stock enhancement techniques to replenish wild stocks. Many culture, hatching, and rearing techniques currently used by the industry worldwide were developed in NOAA labs. That includes the Milford, Connecticut lab for mollusks; the Manchester, Washington, lab for salmon; and the Galveston, Texas lab for shrimp.

Marine aquaculture is an important part of the agency’s strategy for economic and environmental resiliency in coastal communities and supporting healthy oceans. In 2017, U.S. aquaculture producers raised 32 million pounds of salmon, 36 million pounds of oysters, and 9 million pounds of clams along the nation’s coast. In total, farm-raised seafood accounted for 21 percent of the U.S. seafood production by value in 2017. In many fishing and coastal communities around the nation, aquaculture is creating important economic opportunities and year-round employment. 

Aquaculture Production Highlights, 2017
Aquaculture production highlights from 2017, including totals by species and regions. 

Aquaculture Features

Our Mission: Create New Opportunities for Aquaculture While We Support the Existing Industry

With a growing world population and limited land and freshwater resources, we cannot continue to do business as usual when it comes to our nation’s food security. Farmed seafood is critical for a sustainable seafood portfolio and Aquaculture Week is a yearly reminder of where the industry has been and where we hope to help it go. 

Read this leadership message from Director for the NOAA Office of Aquaculture Danielle Blacklock

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Cherrystone oysters in buckets
Cherrystone oysters. Credit: Sea Grant.

Aquaculture Supports a Sustainable Earth

A recent UN study shows that aquaculture can improve food security and nutrition. If done correctly, aquaculture increases food production, boosts economic growth in coastal and rural areas, and can help keep waterways clean.

Explore how aquaculture fits into the UN’s sustainability goals

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A researcher carries camera equipment through ankle-high water on an oyster farm.
A researcher travels to deploy underwater video cameras to assess the ecological role and potential habitat benefits of a shellfish farm in Washington State.

Removing Fish From Fish Diet for Tastier, More Sustainable Aquaculture

NOAA-funded research shows that a diet of poultry meal and algae oil could be just as good for aquaculture fish as fishmeal and fish oil.

Learn more about this NOAA-funded research

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Thinly sliced cut fish on a plate garnished with vegetables and wasabi.
Kampachi sashimi. Kampachi fed on a new fish-free diet tasted better, according to a blind taste test. Credit: © Ocean Era, Inc.

Seaweed Aquaculture

Seaweed farming, the fastest-growing aquaculture sector, can benefit farmers, communities, and the environment.

Learn more about seaweed aquaculture

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Scientists check a longline outplanting of sugar kelp at an experimental site near Coghlan Island, Alaska.

Nine Things You Probably Didn't Know About Aquaculture

Ever wondered how many oysters are farmed in the United States or how much of the global seafood supply comes from aquaculture? Find the answers in NOAA’s Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aquaculture.

Learn more facts about aquaculture

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Flip bags with tide coming in. Credit: Hama Hama Company.

Aquaculture Videos

Introduction to Ocean Farming Series

NOAA Ocean Today’s series introduces viewers to the different aspects of sustainable ocean farming including oyster farms that benefit restoration efforts, 3D ocean farming for seaweed, and the use of robots for offshore aquaculture.

Watch the Introduction to Ocean Farming Series

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Ocean Today's Symone Johnson
Ocean Today's Symone Johnson explains "The Future of Ocean Farming" collection.

Misperceptions About Aquaculture  

The public still encounters aquaculture information that is often out of date, incomplete, or inaccurate. In the video beliw, marine ecologist James Morris addresses the misinformation or bias of marine aquaculture.

    Aquaculture Events 

    Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Day

    The first annual Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Day will be October 10, 2020. This free, interactive, virtual event will showcase the region’s potential for fish and seafood production and host a culinary competition.

    The event is free, open to the public, and registration is required. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Central time with a cooking challenge demonstration.

    Register for the free event 

    Last updated by Office of Aquaculture on September 30, 2020

    Aquaculture Sustainable Seafood