Roughly 90% of the fish consumed in the U.S. is imported. Half of that is farmed fish, a practice known as aquaculture farming. Compared to neighboring Washington, California, and Idaho, Oregon produces less than 6% of the total value of aquaculture products. Jerry Gardner is a Business Developer for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says increasing aquaculture production could be an economic boost for the state.
Gardner: “Aquaculture here is something that folks in the rural communities can take advantage of. It is an agricultural crop. But we have to make sure it’s done in a sustainable way. That’s what we are looking into with this particular project.”
The project Garnder is referring to is an aquaculture plan being developed by a state advisory group with the hopes of being implemented next year. It includes increasing the output of farmed shrimp, trout, bass and tilapia in Oregon. The group is meeting later this month to develop a strategy.
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