Aquaculture America 2021

August 11 - 14, 2021

San Antonio, Texas

Add To Calendar 14/08/2021 08:30:0014/08/2021 08:50:00America/ChicagoAquaculture America 2021RECIRCULATING AQUACULTURE SALMON NETWORK (RAS-N): EMPOWERING US LAND-BASED SALMON PRODUCTIONSalon AThe World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY

RECIRCULATING AQUACULTURE SALMON NETWORK (RAS-N): EMPOWERING US LAND-BASED SALMON PRODUCTION

 
John Stubblefield* and Yonathan Zohar
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET)
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD 21202
EMAIL - STUBBLEF@UMBC.EDU

Currently, at least a half dozen land-based, Atlantic salmon RAS production facilities throughout the US are in operation or in advanced planning and permitting phases. Collectively, this represents over $2.5 billion in investment in this emerging US industry, which is expected to contribute significantly to domestic seafood production, national food security, reduction of US seafood trade deficits and local economic development. However, for Atlantic salmon RAS in the US to be successful and economically feasible, the industry must  overcome biological and technological hurdles, gaps in knowledge, and be continuously optimized, which requires transdisciplinary R&D, education, workforce development and extension. To help build capacity for this rapidly expanding industry, NOAA/Sea Grant has funded a national public-private consortium, consisting of academia, industry and federal labs across the US - the Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network (RAS-N). Since its inception in September 2019, RAS-N's mission has been to facilitate the growth of environmentally sustainable and economically feasible Atlantic salmon production in this country, in order to provide better food security and reduce the current trade deficit associated with salmon imports. A plethora of stakeholder-focused activities have been conducted to solicit industry input, including two network workshops (one in-person and one virtual), sessions at national conferences, and a dedicated salmon RAS website (ras-n.org) that provides updated technical information, links to relevant research and outreach to lay audiences. RAS-N continues to work closely with US stakeholders to maintain, promote and expand its holistic hub of knowledge that will integrate past, current and future research as well as extension, outreach & education, and workforce training to promote the successful growth and stability of the Atlantic salmon RAS sector and, more broadly, US aquaculture. To this end, working groups of industry, academic and federal experts have been established to assess specific barriers and knowledge gaps. These respective groups have established a plan to identify barriers and suggest resolutions. They have also contributed their collective assessments and solutions/strategic approaches. To date, the network has expended considerable effort compiling stakeholder input and research-driven data on priorities, barriers and areas of concern and generated a Concept Paper, with contributions from the various industry-academic-federal working groups that summarize this input. Education, extension and workforce development issues have also been thoroughly examined. The final deliverable of this collaborative program will be the development of a detailed Road Map/Strategic Plan that will help, federal/state agencies, policymakers and industry identify and responsibly allocate resources to promote an economically and environmentally sustainable land-based US salmon industry. This presentation will review the activities of RAS-N and solicit stakeholder engagement and input.