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International Partnership Focuses on Aquaculture in a Changing Environment

May 06, 2022

Co-hosted by the United States and Japan, the panel drives an exchange of sustainable aquaculture knowledge.

Co-chairs Hideaki Aono and Mike Rust are seated at a table with miniature Japanese and American flags; they are surrounded by 11 members of the UJNR panel. Co-chairs Hideaki Aono from the Japan FRA and Mike Rust from the NOAA Office of Aquaculture (both seated), along with other members of the UJNR Aquaculture Panel. Credit: Japan FRA

The U.S.-Japan Natural Resources (UJNR) Aquaculture Panel meets annually to discuss new methods to support the growth of sustainable domestic aquaculture. Beginning in 1971, scientists from NOAA’s Office of Aquaculture and the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA) have collaborated through the annual panel. They share research results, new technology, and innovative approaches to sustainable seafood farming.

Marine Aquaculture in a Changing Environment

In an effort to address key issues related to climate change, the 3-year theme of “Marine Aquaculture in a Changing Environment” was selected in 2017. The 45th, 46th, and 47th meeting proceedings all focus on climate change. They bring attention to some of the latest research on how sustainable aquaculture can mitigate some of the impacts of environmental change.

Seafood Farming for the Environment

Past meetings share a common theme of solutions based on increasing marine aquaculture in both the United States and Japan. Aquaculture provides beneficial ecosystem services that help improve the surrounding environment, including water filtration and habitat growth for other species. 

In the United States, responsible fish farming can be one of the most environmentally friendly ways to produce animal protein. Fish require far less feed than most land-dwelling farm animals, and regulations help ensure that best practices are applied to ensure sustainability.

Growing Aquaculture in the United States

Although the United States has access to numerous natural, economic, and technical resources, as of 2018, it ranked 17th worldwide in aquaculture production. International scientific meetings like the panel offer important opportunities to learn from cooperating countries around the world.

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A group of 18 UJNR aquaculture panel attendees on a tour, smiling in front of the building.
International scientific meetings offer key opportunities for learning and collaboration across the globe. This group is gathered for a tour of the Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, where research on coral reef biology and ecology is conducted. Credit: Japan FRA

Mike Rust, NOAA Fisheries Science Advisor and co-chair of the aquaculture panel, stated, “Researchers from both countries come to exchange their latest and greatest innovations at the panel. I look forward to exploring the novel ways that aquaculture can be of even greater service to our environment.”

Last updated by Office of Aquaculture on May 09, 2022