Sustainable Aquaculture Projects, Research, Education and Technology Advancements
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Advancing Aquaculture with Collaborative Networks
Highlights of Current Projects & Facility News

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility 


Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon- Network (RAS-N) Workshop:
As part of a nationally funded project, to Build Capacity of  Sustainable Production of Atlantic Salmon in Land Based Systems, a network of specialists have been formed, called the RAS-N. This network is assisting to meet the overarching goal of the project, which is to build capacity and establish a holistic hub of knowledge that will integrate past, current and future research as well as outreach, education and extension to promote the successful growth, stability and economic feasibility of the Atlantic salmon RAS sector and, more broadly, US aquaculture.  
In  December, 2019, UWSP NADF hosted the first workshop, bringing together the RAS-N team to discuss research and development needs as well as other bottlenecks to advancing RAS Atlantic salmon culture in the U.S .  This year, the workshop was hosted virtually by Maryland Sea Grant, bringing together RAS-N and additional stakeholders for an attendance of over 100 selected specialists in RAS research and technologies, feeds, education, economics and more (photo right). Plenary speakers of the event included Dr. Carole Engle, Aquaculture Economist, and Alejandro Rojas, Chief Operating Officer at AqauBounty Technologies.
The workshop was also strongly supported by the private industry including worlds largest aquaponics as well as nations first land based commercial Atlantic salmon producer, Superior Fresh. Along with Riverence, Skretting, Salmo, Whole Oceans, Nordic Aquafarms, and AquaCon. The workshop provided important research updates, which included updates from UWSP NADF investigation of various barriers to salmon raised in RAS,  presented by Assistant Director, Greg Fischer.
In addition the workshop included workforce development, education and training panel discussions as well as virtual tours of The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, West Virginia (top photo at right) and Maryland's Institute of Marine and Environmental Technologies lab (IMET) (bottom photo at right).

The information gained from these workshops is being organized into a  fluid whitepaper, which will eventually be developed into a road map document as a final deliverable of this three year project. 

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Day 2020! 
This was the first of its kind virtual conference that featured a variety of panel discussions and presentations on aquaculture throughout 7 Great Lake Sea Grant states. Held on October 10th, various presentations and panel discussions were provided that targeted a variety of audiences, from beginning and current farmers to consumers interested in learning more about preparing and cooking seafood. 
The event was hosted by the Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative, a project of Sea Grant programs across the region—including Wisconsin Sea Grant—that are working to share resources and promote best practices in the aquaculture industry. 

Chuck Weirich and Mark Rath at NOAA Sea Grant started the day off followed by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jesse Trushenski, Chief Science Officer at Riverence (photo at left). From Wisconsin, Steve Summerfelt, Chief Science Officer at Superior Fresh provided insight into the company's pathway into success, being the world's largest aquaponics facility as well as nations first land based Atlantic salmon production facility. Wisconsin  was also represented  with Bill West, Wisconsin Aquaculture Association President, who provided insight in a panel to discuss challenges and potential solutions in the Great Lakes Region. The panel also included WI State Veterinarian, Myron Kebus at the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection..
Director of UWSP NADF , Chris Hartleb, provided educational and training opportunities during the Technical Assistance panel (photo at left) and Outreach Specialist, Emma Wiermaa, provided a video presentation on Basic Overview of Aquaculture Systems.  Additional representation included the National Aquaculture Association, US Aquaculture Society, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, American Fisheries Society as well as various universities and other aquaculture businesses. 
The day's finale included a cooking demonstration featuring Chef Jeff Igel of the Wisconsin Technical College System, cooking up beautiful Atlantic salmon fillets, provided by Superior Fresh. Followed by an entertaining cooking competition between three culinary students from the Great Lakes region (photo at left), lively commentated by Wisconsin Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist, Titus Seilheimer, and Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator, Elliot Nelson.
Stay tuned for recording of the event by topics, which will be posted at the Great Lakes Aquaculture Website.

Welcome Dr. Patrick Blaufuss

Wisconsin Sea Grant has collaborated with UWSP NADF to fund a Keillor Fellowship in Aquaculture. This mutually beneficial partnership will advance the science to support aquaculture in Wisconsin as well as provide a valuable training opportunity. Dr. Blaufuss completed his PhD in animal physiology from the University of Idaho, focusing on alternative feeds and intestinal health in rainbow trout. Prior to that, he managed a lab their rearing burbot for population restoration work in Idaho. This culminated in him assisting with the startup of a commercial scale burbot hatchery in northern Idaho, for which subsequent releases have allowed for the Idaho recreational burbot fishery to reopen after having been closed in 1992. His specific interests include developing and refining culture methods for new species, conservation aquaculture, and stress physiology. 

As Aquaculture Fellow, Dr. Blaufuss is stationed at UWSP NADF and assisting the facility in analyzing data and publishing manuscripts on a variety of species and systems from past projects as well as future applied aquaculture research. In photo Aquaculture Technician Jared Neibauer (on left) fin clips walleyes with Dr. Blaufuss (on right) at UWSP NADF. 

"I’m excited for the opportunity to put my knowledge and skills to use at NADF and to learn all I can about aquaculture in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region."

- Dr. Blaufuss


Facility Technician Hired Full Time at USFWS National Hatchery
Congratulations to past UWSP NADF Aquaculture Technician, Marissa McIntyre, who has been recently hired at one of the largest lake trout hatcheries in the nation. 
Working at UWSP NADF provided additional experience on RAS technology which helped Marissa's acceptance for a full time position at the US Fish & Wildlife Service Iron River National Fish Hatchery, where she is a Fish Biological Science Technician.

Marissa shares her experience at the UWSP NADF:
"I feel that working here was really helpful in me getting my current position with the USFWS, as it offered me a lot of new skills and experiences for my resume. Having no prior knowledge of RAS I was able to include it in my application, which was something that my current employer was looking for. This is a great experience for any person looking to get a step up into the aquaculture industry, as well as anyone looking to understand new and upcoming technologies in the field."

- Marissa McIntyre 


How do we Better Connect Consumers to Farm-raised Fish?
 Recent publication by UWSP NADF Director, Chris Hartleb, as well as collaborators at Wisconsin Sea Grant, UW-Madison, and Iowa State University investigated the Social license and consumer perceptions of farm-raised fish

Highlights from the publication include: 
  • Results provide insight into attitudes about fish farming when individuals have little familiarity with the topic. 
  • A majority agreed that fish farming supported jobs and was good for the study state but were neutral on other attributes. 
  • Communicating environmental attributes, trust in regulation may support sociopolitical and market acceptance of farmed fish.

Don't miss this webinar coming up on TUESDAY, OCT. 27th presented by Aquaculture Economist Dr. Carole Engle, who will discuss the keys to economic and financial success of aquaculture businesses and also will work through the stages of developing a realistic aquaculture business plan that lays the foundation for success . In this webinar, Dr. Engle will introduce participants to publicly available business planning tools that have been used successfully. She will draw from her 40 years of experience working with aquaculture farmers. Throughout the webinar, there will be discussion related to starting, building , and sustaining successful aquaculture farming businesses. 

  • 2021 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, The 81st Annual Conference will be held virtually, Monday, February 1 - Wednesday, February 3, 2021. This year's theme “Fostering Diversity”. Learn More/Register.
  • Aquaculture America 2021 August 11-14, San Antonio, TX. Aquaculture America returns to one of the favorite tourist spots in the world for the only major national aquaculture conference and exposition held in the U.S. The U.S. Aquaculture Society (formerly U.S. Chapter of WAS) joins with National Aquaculture Association and the Aquaculture Suppliers Association to produce the annual Aquaculture America meetings. This conference will also have the largest aquaculture trade show in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest anywhere in the world with nearly 200 booths. Learn More/Register

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