June 15, 2021

A special issue of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society: Status of U.S. marine finfish species for domestic aquaculture expansion

The status of U.S. marine finfish species for aquaculture is the focus of this special issue of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society (JWAS). Based on a scoping workshop conducted at Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which resulted in a subsequent stakeholder survey, 18 different marine finfish species were identified as first-tier candidates to explore for increasing attention toward the expansion of U.S. marine finfish aquaculture. In 2019, at the Aquaculture America conference in New Orleans, these same marine finfish species were presented and discussed by leading aquaculturists across academia, government, and private industry producers. The purpose of the full-day session was to address the current status, required research needs, and potential prospects for industry expansion of each of these species.

This JWAS issue features review articles from 14 of these presentations. These articles provide an in-depth look at these species and offer a road map for researchers, industry members, funding agencies, investors, and other stakeholders to assist with prioritizing opportunities for advancing their commercialization. The authors, experts in the culture of their respective species, have provided a comprehensive summary of current readiness for commercialization. For the sake of compartmentalization, the species were divided into one of three levels of industry development: commercially ready, technologically feasible, or experimental development. The review articles also identify research directions to remove barriers to commercialization and what impediments can be overcome to advance these species.

The reviews presented in this special issue represent a broad array of diversity among U.S. marine finfish species of the many that have potential. The species covered herein represent all coastal communities across this nation in both cold water and warm water.

This special issue would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service. Special thanks to the authors and the editorial committee Marty Riche, Matthew Slater, Carole Engle, and Megan Davis.

Sincerely,

Organizing Committee—FAU HBOI (Megan Davis, Paul S. Wills, Marty Riche), USDA ARS (Caird Rexroad III), USDA NIFA (Gene Kim), and NOAA Aquaculture (Mike Rust)

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