A Fall Filled With Aquaculture

Aquaculture is a central part of one of Wisconsin Sea Grant’s four main research focus areas, and this makes sense: Not only is aquaculture a growing industry nationwide, but in Wisconsin, it’s responsible for $21 million in economic activity each year and more than 400 jobs.

As part of that ongoing commitment, Wisconsin Sea Grant is supporting two aquaculture-based seminars/training sessions this fall in Milwaukee designed to inform students, would-be fish farmers and the public about important issues and techniques in the field.

The first is a seminar series set to begin later this month, organized by Russel Cuhel and Carmen Aquilar, professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. “Aquaculture: The Wave of the Present” is first and foremost a two-credit course for undergraduate and graduate students, but it also features seven presentations by local and national aquaculture experts and scientists that are open to members of the public.

· On Sept. 22, the the University of New England’s Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce will provide an overview of the current state of the aquaculture industry.

· On Oct. 6, UWM’s Dr. Mark McBride will discuss flavobacterium, a deadly disease that threatens aquaculture fish (McBride is researching a vaccine with funding from Wisconsin Sea Grant.)

· On Oct. 20, Dr. Jimmy Avery of Mississippi State University will talk about catfish aquaculture operations. Catfish is one of the heartier aquaculture fish and is a popular choice for first-time fish farmers.

· On November 3, consultant Corey Peet hones in on Asian shrimp aquaculture.

· On November 17, Dana Morse of the University of Maine will discuss Canada’s scallop aquaculture industry.

· On Dec. 1, Dr. Rick Goetz of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Center will provide an overview of recommended aquaculture species for those looking to begin fish farms.

· The series wraps up on Dec. 8 with a discussion of ocean cage aquaculture by Chris Bridger of the Huntsman Marine Science Center.

Each presentation tales place from 7-8:40 pm at the School of Freshwater Sciences, 600 E. Greenfield Ave. in Milwaukee.

In mid-November, Wisconsin Sea Grant is co-sponsoring the 2016 Growing Power National-International Urban and Small Farms Conference, set for Nov. 18-19 at the School of Freshwater Sciences. Growing Power, one of the biggest names in urban aquaponics, and its founder, Will Allen, have worked closely with Wisconsin Sea Grant and the School of Freshwater Sciences to promote an understanding of this rapidly growing field.

The two-day conference slate reflects that. This year’s theme is “Scale It Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best Practices in Growing, Distribution and Community Building.” Experts in engineering, water quality, fish health and the aquaculture and aquaponics industry will talk about everything from system design and construction to fish nutrition, microbiology and marketing. The list of presenters includes Fred Binkowski, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s aquaculture outreach specialist and director of the Great Lakes Aquaculture Center, as well as several School of Freshwater Sciences professors and researchers, including Ryan Newton, Jeff Nuese and Robert Paddock.

Conference sessions run from 9 am-4 pm each day. Register.