Friday, October 24, 2014

Safe Sustainable Seafood Supply

Summer Seafood in Louisiana. Photo Credit: Louisiana Sea Grant

The U.S. has witnessed the decline of many of its major fisheries while seafood consumption is on the rise, resulting in a seafood trade deficit of $8 billion per year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service statistics. At the same time, Sea Grant, through its research, extension, and education activities, and work with partners, has produced important discoveries that have aided the stabilization and recovery of many endangered fisheries. According to the NOAA Aquaculture Program, aquaculture is in its infancy in the U.S., amounting to just over $1 billion of a $70 billion worldwide industry.

Aquaculture creates important new opportunities to meet the increased demand for seafood, but a number of questions need to be addressed for its full potential to be realized. Seafood safety is a growing concern as international trade increases and fish diseases and contamination become bigger problems. Sea Grant has key roles to play in advancing public understanding of the nature of these problems and opportunities. Through the use of its research, extension, and education capacities, Sea Grant will support the kind of informed public and private decision-making that will lead to a sustainable supply of safe seafood long into the future.

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