CORVALLIS – A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant outlines how that the scarcity of offshore aquaculture programs in the United States – and which are nonexistent in the Pacific Northwest – is creating a seafood trade deficit that is costing the U.S. billions of dollars per year.
The publication, “Offshore Aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest,” was edited by Oregon State University fisheries professor Chris Langdon.
“The United States is far from sufficient in meeting its demands for seafood,” Langdon said. “Forty-five percent of our wild fish stocks are overfished, and we import about 80 percent of our seafood from other countries, at an annual cost of $13 billion. Clearly there is a need to develop additional sources of seafood.”
Offshore aquaculture may eventually prove to be one of those sources.
With support from NOAA and other federal and state agencies, Langdon says, offshore aquaculture projects have been established in a few regions of the United States. However, no such projects have been established in the Pacific Northwest.
Last fall Langdon coordinated a forum at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center exploring the potential of offshore aquaculture in the region. Participating were representatives of state and federal agencies, media, research institutions, and coastal and fishing communities. The Sea Grant publication presents the results of that forum, including recommendations for next steps in the discussion.
Copies of the 24-page publication may be downloaded at no charge from http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs.html#w08001, or purchased for $3.50 each (plus shipping) from Sea Grant Communications, 541-737-4849.
In addition, individual papers and presentations from Langdon’s offshore aquaculture forum are available as PDF documents and streaming video at http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/aquaculture2008.