Aquaculture, the controlled production of seafood, ornamental fish and other aquatic life, is big business in Florida. In 2012, the state’s producers earned $70 million in cash receipts, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. Worldwide, aquaculture is responsible for about half of all seafood consumed, so this emerging sector of Florida agricultural production holds great promise for the future, said Karl Havens, Florida Sea Grant director. To inform the public about this rapidly developing field, Florida Sea Grant chose aquaculture as the subject of its latest special report for the statewide business magazine Florida Trend. The report, “Florida’s Economy Is Expanding Under the Sea,” appears in the April issue of the magazine. It’s the second of a four-part series focused on important opportunities and challenges involving the marine environments off Florida’s shores. “We have tremendous optimism about aquaculture’s potential to expand and to meet important needs,” Havens said. “Our role at Florida Sea Grant is to find ways of making aquaculture production more efficient, more economically viable and more sustainable, and bring that knowledge to producers.” The report highlights statewide production of the hard clam and explains how this industry was established, which now generates about $39 million in gross revenue impact each year. Also mentioned are several new aquaculture initiatives, including production of sunray venus clams, oysters, corals and aquatic plants.
To view the Florida Trend Report on Aquaculture, click here.
Source Newsroom: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Brad Buck, March 30, 2015