Tag Archives: aquaculture

Aquaculture’s tide is rising in the commonwealth

“Virginia is poised to be an excellent player in the aquaculture industry with its superb access to markets in Washington, D.C., and New York and its attractive labor pool.”

Due to demand and population growth projections in the United States, the forecasted domestic seafood gap in 2025 is 2 million to 4 million tons, a national resource deficit second only to oil.

Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology David Kuhn is working to capitalize on this demand to strengthen the aquaculture industry in the commonwealth, and his efforts will have far-reaching impacts beyond Virginia’s borders.

“In terms of a global view, fish is a good way to get protein into people’s diets,” said Kuhn.

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Freshwater shrimp becoming big deal with help of Virginia Cooperative Extension

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 17, 2015 – As the freshwater shrimp in his ponds continued to grow and multiply, Charles Carter knew he had a good product to sell.

In his second year of production, Carter wanted to create product buzz to sell a portion of his production to local consumers. As a member of the Virginia Aquafarmers Network, Carter was already selling product wholesale, but also wanted to market retail.

Carter, whose family has owned the Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia, for 11 generations, knew just where to look for assistance — Virginia Cooperative Extension.

He had already relied heavily on the expertise of Brian Nerrie, a seafood Extension specialist from Virginia State University, to help get his shrimp operation off the ground. Carter used the many online resources about starting a fresh water shrimp operation and asked Nerrie countless questions along the way about everything from feeding to harvesting. Now he needed to expand his market.

 

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Trout in the classroom

4-H Extension Agent Beth Hawse works with students in an activity where they learn the anatomy of trout.

4-H Extension Agent Beth Hawse works with students in an activity where they learn the anatomy of trout.

By Emily Halstead, Virginia Cooperative Extension Communications and Marketing Intern

Fish are playing an active role in helping sixth-graders in several Virginia schools learn more about the natural environment.

The Trout in the Classroom program, created by 4-H Extension Agent Beth Hawse, allowed students to raise trout and monitor their growth as well as to experience the release of the fish at the end of the yearlong curriculum.

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Aquaculture Ambassadors a Big Hit at Hampton Bay Days

The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors. L to R: Valin Booker, George Wenn. ©Jen Armstrong/VASG

The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors. L to R: Valin Booker, George Wenn. ©Jen Armstrong/VASG

By Julia Robins, Staff Writer

Early in September, the 32nd annual Hampton Bay Days festival attracted an estimated 200,000 people seeking to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay. Among the weekend’s popular attractions was a booth operated on Saturday by the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors (SFAAs).

“We could hardly set up and break down our tents without a visitor inquiring about our display,” says George Wenn, a Hampton University senior and SFAA.

All day long, children ran to the SFAA booth to look at the many tanks containing eels, cobia, and black sea bass, among others. People of all ages lined up from start to finish of the day to hear about sustainable seafood and bay species.

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What Is Aquaculture? Hampton University Students Team with Virginia Tech to Give Answers

2014 0819 SFAA_Photog Julia Robins_0271

Aquaculture ambassadors, L to R: George Wenn, Danielle Budden, and Valin Booker. ©Julia Robins/VASG

By Julia Robins, Staff Writer

Four Hampton University students became ambassadors this summer—aquaculture ambassadors, that is. The students are part of the Virginia Sea Grant-funded Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors (SFAA) program, a new collaboration between Hampton University (HU) and Virginia Tech (VT).

“The main thrust for the SFAAs is to learn about all aspects of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, to develop public outreach tools for the public, and then to use those tools in public outreach venues such as Bay Days and other events around the area,” says Michael Schwarz, VT Aquaculture Specialist affiliated with Virginia Sea Grant who heads the SFAA program. “The main goal is for them to learn about local seafood, fisheries, and aquaculture so that they can inform the general public.”

Since last year, the SFAAs have been researching and studying seafood quality and safety, production, post-harvest handling, and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries at VT’s Seafood Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AREC). They have also been learning how to provide effective outreach on fisheries and bay education in the Hampton Roads area.

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