Tuesday, October 7, 2014

07/10/2014: Changing the seafood industry and how the world feeds itself

By Josh Salman - Herald Tribune
A few years ago, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium set out to change the way seafood reaches tables in America, and its researchers believe they're close to doing just that.

At the nonprofit's 200-acre farm in rural eastern Sarasota County, scientists are cultivating popular species of fish seafoodthrough new methods that are less expensive and more friendly to the environment than current practices.

Already, Mote's farm is harvesting and packaging tons of caviar from Siberian sturgeon for commercial distribution. And as they hone their techniques, Mote researchers hope to develop a model that will allow more aquaculture farms to meet the growing demand for seafood, while restoring native fish populations in Florida and reducing dependence on large-scale commercial fishing.

"We just cannot produce the seafood we need to feed the world," said Kevan Maincq, senior scientist and director of the Mote Aquaculture Research Park.

"We have currently capped out what we can from the wild. Commercial farming is something we probably won't even be thinking about in 25 to 30 years. Every year, demand for seafood is growing because the population is growing."

Seafood as a sector is the second-largest contributor to the U.S. trade deficit, behind only oil. More than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported from other countries. Of that, about half is produced through commercial fisheries.
Read more HERE.

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