There are 161 fewer U.S. aquaculture farms than earlier this decade but their sales are up more than 10 percent, to $1.5 billion, according to USDA's Census of Agriculture. The 2,932 farms had average sales of roughly $517,000 apiece. Those farms occupy a combined 484,000 acres, or 756 square miles, divided nearly equally between freshwater and saltwater production.
With salmon prices rising around the world, Japan and Norway are using state-of-the-art technology for two huge offshore aquaculture projects in a effort to boost salmon supply while avoiding the problems that plague coastal fish farms, reports Japan Times.
A Commerce Department agency has authorized up to 20 permits for deep-water aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico that eventually could double the finfish output of the gulf. Fish farming in the ocean would help satisfy the growing world appetite for seafood, but it also is a formidable challenge, writes Virginia Gewin. The story, produced in partnership with FERN, was published in Ensia.
U.S. fish farms are producing only one-quarter as many catfish this year as they did when the industry peaked in 2002, according to USDA data. The decline has been blamed on higher feed costs, a change in consumer tastes, and imports from Asia.
Global per-capita fish consumption surged beyond 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in 2014, thanks to the booming aquaculture industry in China and elsewhere, according to a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization.
Fish farms are hurting species diversity downstream, says a study out of Novia Scotia, the first of its kind in Canada. The study found that the number of different benthic invertebrate species -- small creatures like mayflies and caddisflies that live in the silt at the bottom of waterways -- was significantly lower downstream from fish farms than previous counts, according to the CBC.