SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE
Louisiana has experienced a decline in many of its major fisheries, largely due to both competition from inexpensive imported seafood products and the high cost of fuel for fishing vessels, while seafood consumption nationwide has been simultaneously on the rise. Louisiana Sea Grant, through its research, extension and education activities, and its work with industry partners, has helped to stabilize and improve many sectors of the state’s fisheries industry. According to the NOAA Aquaculture Program, mariculture (aquaculture of saltwater species) is in its infancy in the U.S., amounting to just over $1 billion of a $70 billion worldwide industry. Mariculture creates important new opportunities to meet the increased demand for seafood, but a number of questions need to be addressed for its full potential to be realized. Seafood safety also is a growing concern as international trade increases and fish diseases and contamination of imports loom as larger problems. Louisiana Sea Grant plays key roles in advancing public understanding of the nature of these problems and opportunities.