New film examines the current state of US aquaculture

Published on
June 13, 2016

A new film from Living Ocean Productions sets out to educate the modern consumer about the current state of the aquaculture industry in the United States, looking at four established farms across the nation raising catfish, salmon, oysters and mussels.

The film, titled “The Working Waterfront,” consults catfish farmers in Alabama, salmon farmers in Washington and oyster and mussel farmers in Maine on a range of topics including environmental responsibility, economic and communal aquaculture benefits, and the value local production.

The farmers also discuss within the documentary the challenges facing the growing U.S.-based aquaculture community. “Lack of consistent, coordinated permitting processes and a lingering outdated perception of aquaculture are cited as obstacles to increasing the supply of locally grown fish and seafood,” according to a press release about the film, which was funded the Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) and the United Soybean Board.

“There have been so many advances in biology and technology over the past two decades which have made aquaculture so much more sustainable than when it first started 40 years ago,” said Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, in a prepared statement. “There’s a real need to educate consumers that aquaculture today has less of an environmental impact of any other form of protein production…and that the resulting products are among the healthiest foods anyone can eat.”

“One of the key advances that has made aquaculture more sustainable has been new feed formulations that replace wild-caught fishmeal with plant proteins, especially U.S. soy,” added Bridget Owen, executive director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance. “The far-reaching benefits of a domestic aquaculture industry can extend up the supply stream to feed ingredient farmers, and down through communities by creating green jobs. But our belief is that healthy, locally raised food would benefit American consumers the most.”

The video can be viewed on YouTube here:

SAA is a founding member of the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production (CUSP), an informal collective comprised of aquaculture producers, suppliers, seafood distributors, retailers, and restaurants focused on supporting efforts to expand domestic aquaculture.

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