Story by Marie Thoms, Minnesota Sea Grant
The first annual Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Day will be October 10, 2020. This free, interactive, virtual event will showcase the region’s potential for fish and seafood production and host a culinary competition.
The event is free, open to the public and registration is required. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Central time with a cooking challenge demonstration.
The event will feature a variety of panel discussions and presentations on aquaculture. Presentations will be targeted at a variety of audiences, from beginning and current farmers to consumers interested in learning more about preparing and cooking seafood.
The event is hosted by the Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative – a project of Sea Grant programs across the Great Lakes region working to share resources and promote best practices throughout the aquaculture industry.
The event finale will feature a cooking demonstration with Chef Jeff Igel from the Wisconsin Technical College, followed by a cooking competition featuring three culinary students from the Great Lakes region. Each student will be required to use a key ingredient and local aquaculture products in their creation.
The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative is currently accepting applications from Great Lakes post-secondary students for the competition and the three chosen students will each receive a $250 stipend.
All event attendees will have opportunities to interact with other participants during the day and during breakout lunch gatherings.
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing sector of agriculture across the world and now accounts for more than 50% of the production of seafood in the world, surpassing production from wild-caught fisheries. However, in the United States, the growth of aquaculture has been stagnant. Seafood supply from U.S.-based wild-caught fisheries is not enough to meet nationwide demand and one result is a $14 billion seafood trade deficit.
The U.S. aquaculture industry has potential for growth, especially in the Great Lakes region where abundant inland freshwater resources have enabled a handful of state-based aquaculture operations to employ a local workforce and produce sustainable, healthy and tasty fish.
NOAA Fisheries is celebrating National Aquaculture Week, September 23-30. Learn about the vital role that aquaculture plays in supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience throughout the week.
Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Elliot Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative contact:
Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Educator Amy Schrank, email@example.com.
State Sea Grant event contacts:
- Michigan Sea Grant. Elliot Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minnesota Sea Grant. Amy Schrank, email@example.com
- New York Sea Grant. Katherine Bunting-Howarth, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ohio Sea Grant. Tory Gabriel, email@example.com
- Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Stuart Carlton, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wisconsin. Emma Wiermaa, email@example.com
- Pennsylvania. Shawn Rafferty, firstname.lastname@example.org