Aquaculture Extension Program Focus Area #1
Expanding Knowledge about Aquaculture and New Opportunities and Technologies Available to Current and Potential Producers
In 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that 46.4% of the seafood consumed in the world was cultured. The scale of world aquaculture production is not well known by the general public in the United States because other countries dominate production.
Situation in Florida:
In Florida, there is a great deal of interest in aquaculture and diversification of traditional agriculture. The potential for integration of aquaculture production in ponds, cages within the ponds, or in recirculating tank systems within existing farms is strong. Many traditional agriculturists in Florida have the required natural resources of climate, water, and land to initiate the production of various aquatic organisms.
Current aquaculture producers are interested in determining methods to improve the margin on their crops. One method the producers use to increase profits is to implement new techniques and diversify the number of species they produce. Commonly, producers will successfully culture an aquatic organism, but they do not know the optimal culture methods and parameters to maximize their production. Most producers are not able to properly evaluate various culture conditions in replicated studies. Therefore, applied research conducted at the IRREC Aquaculture Demonstration Project is critical to producers because the producers are able to apply scientific research findings from university research to the aquaculturalist's operations.
UF/IFAS IRREC Aquaculture Research Serves Industry:
With the scientific findings, the producers can improve the efficiency and profit margin of their aquaculture farms. Both current and potential producers need accurate information to make informed business decisions. In the IRREC Aquaculture researchers’ efforts to provide clients with the best possible information, Dr. Ohs uses published extension literature, develops new extension publications, develops and maintain websites, and make presentations to producers. Dr. Ohs' presents educational sessions to stakeholders, county extension agents, sea grant faculty members, state agency leaders, students of all ages, and city and county officials.