Aquaculture Enterprises:   ATTRA Considerations and Strategies    A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agricultur...
operation will meet the basic requirements         Defining “organic aquaculture” is very much                        for b...
For the interval, until official aquaculture       species and production system. Abundant,standards are approved, the USDA...
Environmental and disease problems can                wetland or coastal zone, and marketing                        develo...
requirements and to determine whether a         immature shellfishproblem is developing.                          are also...
the production of almost any species any-       Crawfish-rice and crawfish-rice-soybean                      where, provid...
answer. Yes, aquaculture can be profitable             It is much more profitable to determine mar-IF the fish farmer has the...
any vital components or issues. This criti-      Summary                 cal evaluation will also be helpful when pre-    ...
Regional Aquaculture Center or its publications, con-       people interested in aquaculture, from the expert to thetact y...
Gebhart, Glen, and Kenneth Williams. 2000. Is           662–686–3320 FAX      Fish Farming for Me? Langston University    ...
rmoll@ucsd.edu                           mrawson@uga.cc.uga.eduwww.csgc.ucsd.edu                        www.marsci.uga.edu...
kramer@mdsg.umd.edu                        swanndl@auburn.eduwww.mdsg.umd.edu/                          www.masgc.org/MIT ...
614–292–4364 FAX                            Rick.Devoe@scseagrant.orgreutter.1@osu.edu                           www.scsea...
608–262–0591 FAX                             pbrent@cropking.comawandren@seagrant.wisc.edu                   www.cropking....
Appendix IV    NAMES OF COMMON AQUACULTURE SPECIES    Common name          Scientific name               Common name       ...
Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and                  Strategies                  By Lance Gegner                  ...
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Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies

  1. 1. Aquaculture Enterprises: ATTRA Considerations and Strategies A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgBy Lance Gegner Aquaculture—the cultivation of fish and aquatic animals and plants—is expanding to meet consumerNCAT Agriculture demand. This publication surveys the important considerations for planning an aquaculture enterprise.Specialist It will help you identify the production system, species, and marketing strategy most appropriate to your©NCAT 2006 situation. The wide range of cultured species and production methods makes it impossible to provide a full discussion of aquaculture in a single document of this kind. Determining the best aquaculture enterprise for you will require considerable research, beginning with the list of resources and contacts listed in the Further Resources section and in the four Appendices.Contents to acquire knowledge, have working capital, and provide labor and management.Introduction ..................... 1Motivation and Goals ... 2 In the article The Small Fish Farmer—IsOrganic Aquaculture .... 2 There a Niche?, James W. Avault, Jr., Loui-Natural and Personal siana State University Professor Emeritus ofResources .......................... 3 the Aquaculture Research Station, explainsRegulatory Aspects ....... 4 that farming an aquaculture species hasSpecies ............................... 4 many similarities to crop farming.Production Systems ...... 5 Simply put, aquaculture is agriculture.Marketing .......................... 6 Market-size catfish under harvest. A simple comparison of steps involved inBusiness Planning .......... 7 Photo by Peggy Greb. corn production and channel catf ish Photo courtesy of USDA/ARS. farming follow:Summary .......................... 8Further Resources ......... 8 Corn Production: 1. Secure funds to begin;References ........................ 9 Introduction 2. Plow ground; 3. Plant seeds; 4. Fertilize A soil; 5. Control weeds and insects; 6. Con-Appendices ................... 10 quaculture has received considerable trol parasites and disease; and 7. Harvest,Appendix I interest because of increased con- process, market.List of U.S. RegionalAquaculture Centers ... 10 sumer demand for fish and shellfish, Catfish Farming: 1. Secure funds and per-Appendix II and a declining fisheries catch. Aquaculture mits to begin if needed; 2. Build ponds andSea Grant Programs ... 10 is expanding to exploit the resulting market get a source of water; 3. Stock fingerlings;Appendix III potential. However, aquaculture producers 4. Fertilize pond water and/or feed fish,Aquaculture Book and maintain good water quality; 5. ControlDealers ............................. 14 must compete with wild-harvested products, weeds, wild fish, and pests; 6. Control para-Appendix IV as well as other farm-raised and imported sites and diseases; and 7. Harvest, process,Names of Common products, in a very competitive market that market. Once these concepts are under-Aquaculture Species ... 15 includes other protein sources, such as beef, stood, you must establish goals and prefer- ably put them in writing….Once you visual- pork, and chicken. ize short- and long-range goals, a feasibilityATTRA — National Sustainable study should be conducted. Begin with aAgriculture Information Service Many of your decisions will depend on what checklist. A partial list might include: whichis managed by the National Cen-ter for Appropriate Technology you want to do with your aquaculture enter- species to culture, where to locate, any legal(NCAT) and is funded under a prise. Will it be a small part of your farm- constraints, marketing potential, profit out-grant from the United States ing operation, or are you looking to become look, and other aspects. (Avault, 2002)Department of Agriculture’sRural Business-Cooperative Ser- a full-time aquaculturist? But whether The Aquaculture Site Evaluation Ques-vice. Visit the NCAT Web site(www.ncat.org/agri. it is a small or a full-time operation, you tionnaire from West Virginia Univer-html) for more informa-tion on our sustainable will need to treat it as a business to make a sity Extension can be used to help deter-agriculture projects. ���� profit. As in all businesses, you will need mine whether your proposed aquaculture
  2. 2. operation will meet the basic requirements Defining “organic aquaculture” is very much for both natural and personal resources nec- a work-in-progress and, for many reasons, an endeavor marked by controversy. Mem- essary to operate successfully. The question- bers of both the organic and the aquaculture naire is located at www.wvu.edu/~agexten/ communities disagree on how, or even if, aquaculture/sitequest.htm. aquatic animal and plant production systems can qualify as “organic” as the term is com- monly used. Any potential definition must be Motivation and Goals a multi-faceted one. “Organic” in the context To begin, you need to ask yourself why you of food production connotes standards and want to start an aquaculture enterprise— certification—a verifiable claim for the pro- duction process and production practices— what are your goals? The goal of a subsis- as well as more elusive characteristics such tence enterprise is to produce the amount as consumer expectation for food quality and of fish needed by a family at minimum safety and general environmental, social, and cost; whereas the goal of a commercial economic benefits for farmers and for society. enterprise is to produce the greatest profit The variety of species produced in aquacul- tural systems and vast differences in cultural with the available resources. Farm diver- requirements for finfish, shellfish, mollusks, sification is a common goal of many aqua- and aquatic plants add to the complexity ofRelated ATTRA culturists. Most aquaculture experts advise defining this sector. Some species and somePublications prospective aquaculturists to set modest production systems may prove quite difficult initial goals (with lower resource require- to adapt to a traditional “organic” system….Aquaponics:Integration of ments) and expand them as they gain Interpreting practices and standards devel-Hydroponics with experience. This advice can be followed oped for terrestrial species into practicesAquaculture by starting with a small-scale subsistence and standards relevant to aquatic species, both animal and plant, remains a majorAgricultural Business enterprise and gradually expanding it into a challenge for organic aquaculture. How canPlanning Templates small commercial operation for farm diver- aquatic operations comply with the require-and Resources sification. Eventually, if the success of the ments for an organic system plan, for obtain- aquacultural enterprise warrants, commer- ing acceptable stock, for implementing health cial aquaculture could become the main care monitoring and management, for main- taining prescribed “living conditions,” for farm activity. development and acceptance of allowed and prohibited substances lists, for organic feed Organic Aquaculture requirements, for controlled post-harvest processing, for nutrient management, and for Consumer concerns over reports of contam- required animal identification and record- inants in farmed and wild seafood is lead- keeping? (Boehmer et al., 2005) ing to increased interest in organic fish and Even if there are no official NOP organic seafood. However, as of July 2005, there aquaculture standards, the 2001 National are no organic aquaculture standards other Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) Aquatic than the general USDA National Organic Animal Task Force did make some recom- Program (NOP) standards for organic live- mendations that are available at www.ams. stock production. The NOP standards, usda.gov/nosb/AquaticAnimalsTaskForce/ including livestock standards, are available AquaticAnimalsTaskForce.html. However, at www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/standards/ it is important to remember that the NOSB StandardsNoScript.htm. These NOP live- recommendations are not official until stock standards must be followed for any they have been approved and adopted by animal or product sold with the USDA the USDA. organic seal. In addition, the NOP created the Aquatic The Alternative Farming Systems Informa- Animals Task Force—Aquaculture Work- tion Center (AFSIC) at the USDA National ing Group in 2005 to provide recom- Agriculture Library published the docu- mendations. The list of members on this ment Organic Aquaculture AFSIC Notes #5 task force is at www.ams.usda.gov/nop/ in January 2005. It states: TaskForces/AquaticAnimals.html.Page 2 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  3. 3. For the interval, until official aquaculture species and production system. Abundant,standards are approved, the USDA National high-quality water is usually the single mostOrganic Program has issued a Guidance crucial resource. Land can be limiting ifStatement (April 13, 2004), Topic Area— the topography is not favorable for the con-National Organic Program Scope, explain- struction of ponds, or if land is dedicateding that the Organic Foods Production Act to other productive uses. Soil properties(OFPA) does provide coverage for aquatic must be considered in pond construction,animals. The Guidance Statement says: and soil fertility will influence pond produc- • Fish and seafood, farm-raised or wild- tivity. Climate does not limit the scale of caught. Although OFPA provided coverage aquaculture, but it does determine the spe- for aquatic organic standards, NOP has not cies that can be grown (except in the case developed any standards for proposal to the of closed-system aquaculture technology public for comment. described below). The products listed above may not display the USDA organic seal and may not imply Production resources—capital, labor, that they are produced or handled to the and time—inf luence the choice of pro- USDA NOP standards. Consumers should duction system and species. Generally, P be aware that the use of labeling terms such the more intensive the production system (i.e., roducer as “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with the more fish grown per volume of water), organic ingredients” on these products may the more capital, labor, and time required. organiza- be truthful statements. But these statements tions are do not imply that the product was produced For example, l ight ly stocked fa rm in accordance with the USDA NOP standards ponds practically take care of them- valuable sources of nor that the producer is certified under the selves, while closed systems need almost information about NOP standards. continuous monitoring. markets andThis means that even if there are no Industry resources—including supplies, ser- marketing.national standards for organic aquaculture, vices, and markets—are well developed inorganic certifying agencies that have aqua- some parts of the country for certain typesculture standards and are accredited by of aquaculture. For example, in the Missis-USDA may certify aquaculture products as sippi Delta Region, there are many catfishorganic, but the products are not allowed feed manufacturers and catfish processingto carry the USDA organic label. So, if you facilities and a strong producer associationare interested in pursuing an organic label, that supports marketing to promote catfishyou will need to find an accredited organic consumption. If aquaculture of certaincertifying agent that has aquaculture stan- species is less well developed in other partsdards. The list of USDA accredited certi- of the country, the aquaculturists in thesefying agents is listed at www.ams.usda.gov/ areas must be very resourceful. Producernop/CertifyingAgents/Accredited.html. organizations are valuable sources of infor-At this writing (2005), there are only mation about markets and marketing.t wo cer t i f ied orga n ic aquacu lture In order for an aquaculture enterpriseoperations in the United States, both to remain viable and profitable, it mustshrimp farms. OceanBoy in Florida, at be environmentally sound. Environmen-www.oceanboyfarms.com, and Permian Sea tal issues, such as safety of fish and sea-in Texas, at www.usmsfp.org/farm-websites/ food; water pollution by excess nutrients;texas%20news/seafoodwithoutthesea.htm, destruction of coastal habitats; and damageare both certified by Quality Certification to natural fish stocks by accidental releaseServices (QCS). of farmed, exotic, or bio-engineered spe- cies, are major concerns for many con-Natural and Personal sumers and need to be addressed by theResources aquaculture industry.Natural resources such as water, land, soil, Technical resources, information, andand climate strongly influence the choice of expertise are critical to aquaculturists.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. Environmental and disease problems can wetland or coastal zone, and marketing develop quickly and threaten an entire strategy. Contact your state agencies con- crop. Quick access to professional diagnos- cerned with environment, natural resources, tic services such as fish disease labs can and agriculture for more information on the salvage a threatened batch of fish. Contact requirements in your state and locale. The your county Extension Service for informa- National Association of State Aquaculture tion about aquaculture in your area and for Coordinators (NASAC) has their Directory contact information for the state Aquacul- of State Aquaculture Coordinators listed at ture Specialist. Other sources of informa- www.marylandseafood.org/aquaculture/ tion are your state’s Sea Grant program, nasac.php. The State Coordinators are Regional Aquaculture Centers, or other responsible for coordinating aquaculture federal sources of information (see Further programs at the state and territorial levels. Resources section for more details) about the programs and services available in your Your state Extension Aquaculture Special- state or region. ists or state fisheries department may also be able to assist you. Remember, pro- Regulatory Aspects ducers need to KNOW THE LAWS THATP roducers APPLY TO ALL ASPECTS OF THE AQUA- In the article “Legal Considerations in need to know CULTURE OPERATION, INCLUDING SPE- Commercial Aquaculture,” James W. Avault, the laws that Jr., Louisiana State University Profes- CIES UNDER CONSIDERATION. With-apply to all aspects sor Emeritus of the Aquaculture Research out proper permits, interstate transport Station, discusses the history of laws of a threatened or endangered species,of the aquaculture governing aquaculture. or a species identified as an invasiveoperation, including pest fish or plant, is punishable by finespecies under Historically, wildlife and fisheries have been or imprisonment. regulated and monitored by the U.S. Fishconsideration. and Wildlife Service at the federal level and Many federal programs work with vari- by departments of wildlife and fisheries at ous aspects of aquaculture regulations, the state level. At both levels, laws and regu- lations have focused on wild populations of assistance, and research. The USDA, the game and fish. As aquaculture developed in Department of Commerce (DOC), the Food the United States, many of these laws were at and Drug Administration (FDA), and the odds with it. The cottage industry of aqua- U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wild- culture was put under the jurisdiction of federal and state agencies that historically life Service (FWS) all have certain areas of regulated wild populations. In 1976, for responsibility to the aquaculture industry. example, the National Aquaculture Act rec- The Alternative Farming Systems Informa- ognized aquaculture as an emerging indus- tion Center (AFSIC) at the USDA National try, but the Act placed the jurisdiction jointly Agriculture Library has the Internet links with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. for most of the U.S. Federal Government Department of Agriculture was designated Agencies dealing with aquaculture listed at in a supportive role. Eventually, the U.S. www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/afsaqua.htm#Fed. Department of Agriculture was designated the lead agency for aquaculture, whereas at the state level the transition to state Species agriculture departments has been slower. There are about 60 potential aquaculture (Avault, 2004) species that can be used for food. (Cline, Make sure that you get all state and/or fed- 2005) The main species being raised and eral permits or licenses required for an marketed in the United States are chan- aquaculture operation in your locale. The nel catfish, trout, salmon, crawfish, tila- permit type will vary, depending upon the pia, and bait species. Whatever the spe- species grown, culture techniques, local zon- cies you finally decide on, you need to have ing ordinances, public or private water use a good knowledge of their biology in order and discharge regulations, land designated to understand all their environmentalPage 4 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  5. 5. requirements and to determine whether a immature shellfishproblem is developing. are also produced in hatcheries. Hatch-Coldwater species such as trout and salmon ery techniques arecan be successfully farmed wherever water complicated and havetemperature does not consistently exceed many special require-75°F. This usually limits production of ments; therefore, they are not recommended for the beginning aquaculturist. Bait production is a very large component of the aquaculture industry in the United States. Louisiana, Minnesota, Florida, and Arkansas areRainbow trout fingerlings. all large producersPhoto by Stephen Ausmus.Photo courtesy of USDA/ARS. of bait and ornamen- tal species. Minnows, suckers, goldfish, andcoldwater species to northern states and crawfish are some ofmountainous areas, including the south- the commonly grownern Appalachians, Ozark Highlands, Rocky bait animals. Some- Striped bass. Photo by Gerald Ludwig.Mountains, and Pacific Coast Ranges. times bait species Photo courtesy of USDA/ARS.Idaho, North Carolina, and California are can be raised alongthe top three trout-producing states, and with food species.Washington and Maine are the largestproducers of salmon. Coldwater species Production Systemscan also be grown anywhere adequate cold Extensive aquaculture is conductedgroundwater is available. Coolwater spe- in ponds stocked at a low density that yieldcies such as walleye, perch, sturgeon, and small crops, but require little manage-certain shellfish tolerate warmer water than ment. Intensive aquaculture is practiced incoldwater species, but their growth is inhib- artificial systems (ponds, cages, raceways,ited at the optimal-growth temperatures of and tanks) stocked at a high densitywarmwater species. that yield large crops, but require a lotWarmwater species such as channel catfish, of management.striped bass, paddlefish, and most shell- Open systems allow water to flow throughfish need warm water over a relatively long them without reusing the water. Generally,growing season to be economically practi- the more intensive an aquaculture system,cal. Some tropical exotics such as tilapia the more water must flow through it. Indie at water temperatures below 50° and open systems, discharged water is lost fromso can only be grown during the warm the system. Because water, as well as themonths in most of the South or in ther- cost to pump it, is becoming more of a lim-mal waters elsewhere. Egg and fingerling iting factor, technologies that reuse part orproduction has emerged as a specialty all of the water are being developed.operation in the maturing aquacultureindustry. Hatchery facilities, especially Closed systems recirculate and reconditionin the South, can provide advanced all of the water used, largely freeing aqua-fingerlings to more northerly producers culturists from water supply constraints.with marginal growing seasons. Larval and Closed systems have the potential to allowwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. the production of almost any species any- Crawfish-rice and crawfish-rice-soybean where, provided the market price can pay rotations are commonly practiced, but for the capital and energy requirements of other aquaculture-agriculture rotations have the system. been largely neglected, even though there is Pond aquaculture is the most commonly much potential for beneficial rotation effects practiced. Most large-scale aquaculture in such systems. Rotation benefits are farmers construct levee-type ponds, but similar to those seen in other agricultural these require large amounts of relatively systems: disease and weed suppression, level land. Many small-scale and a few reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs, large-scale aquaculture farms use water- and increased biodiversity (due to the shed ponds. Your local office of the Natu- mix of aquatic and terrestrial habitats in ral Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) the landscape). will provide technical assistance for pond I nte g r a te d , mu lt i ple - u s e s y s tem s siting and construction. The University of incorporating fish, livestock, fowl, and Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and horticultural production are widely Fisheries Web site has the publications practiced in some parts of the world, butM arketing Recreational Fishing in Small Impound- they have been largely neglected in the strategy ments: Alternative Management Options and U.S. The beneficial interactions between Farm Pond Management for Recreational is one of the different elements of such a system help Fishing at www.uaex.edu/aqfi/extension/the most important to reduce purchased inputs. Development publications/factsheet.aspects of an aqua- of polyculture in commercia l U.S. Cage culture, the growing of aquatic ani- aquaculture will require finding appropriateculture business. mals in floating or anchored net confine- combinations of marketable species. Many ments, can be used in farm ponds or other species used in the sophisticated polyculture existing water bodies that are otherwise systems of Asia (e.g., various carps) are not unsuitable for aquaculture. Cage culture well accepted as food items here. is often more compatible with other uses of the farm pond. Cages can be used to alter- Integrated aquaculture and hydroponics— nate warmwater and coldwater species in termed aquaponics—is a subject receiving the same pond. increasing attention in the U.S. Beneficial interactions between aquacultural and Tank culture, both open and closed sys- hydroponics operations reduce some inputs, tems, can be adapted to a wide range of species and situations. Tanks made but such technologies are capital intensive. of steel, fiberglass, or plastic can be dis- See ATTRA’s Aquaponics: Integration of mantled and reassembled for transport- Hydroponics with Aquaculture for more ing or relocating. Advantages of tank cul- information on aquaponics. ture include minimal land requirements, portability, and ease of expansion. Tanks Marketing can be located indoors to reduce climate lim- Marketing strategy is one of the most itations. High equipment cost, especially in important aspects of an aquaculture closed systems, is the main disadvantage of business. When you choose the species tank culture. you will be farming, you need to consider the market price for it. It is important to Raceways—long, narrow canals with large identify a reliable market, and even a flows—are the most widely used production system for the intensive culture of salmon, backup market, before making capital trout, and charr. investments in aquaculture. In the Langston University publication Is Fish Farming for Rotation systems, alternating aquatic and Me?, the authors state, “The most often field crops in levee-type ponds, can benefit asked question, ‘are there profits to be both aquacultural and agronomic crops. made in aquaculture?’ requires a qualifiedPage 6 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  7. 7. answer. Yes, aquaculture can be profitable It is much more profitable to determine mar-IF the fish farmer has the right natural ket demand and plan production accordingly. Raising a crop of fish first and then lookingresources, good management abilities for places to sell it can result in low or noand suff icient capital available for profit. To determine possible markets; begininvestment in the enterprise.” (Gebhart with an inventory of your operation. Askand Williams, 2000) yourself the following questions:As David J. Cline, an Extension Aquacul- • What kinds of fish can I produce?turist at Auburn University, suggests in • How many pounds of fish can I pro-an article entitled “Marketing Options for duce?Small Aquaculture Producers,” innovative • Can fish be delivered throughout themarketing can be the key to financial suc- year, or in annual batches?cess or failure. • Can I tailor production schedules to pro- Most producers would like to sell to one of duce the size of fish required for mar- two high-volume buyers such as a processing ket? plant or distributor. This is a good market- ing strategy if you are producing large quan- • Can I transport live or processed fish? I tities of fish. However, small-scale producers t is much more • Is fee fishing a possibility? are not in the same economic level as larger profitable to producers are and, therefore, must usually • Is a processing plant located nearby? sell for a higher price to remain profitable. determine • Am I willing to process fish? Do I have Their best option is to establish niche mar- market demand and kets for their products. the equipment and labor force neces- sary? plan production Niche markets have advantages and disad- accordingly. vantages. The main advantage in niche mar- • Can I produce fingerlings, food-size fish keting is that producers become wholesalers, or a combination? (Williams, 2000) and, in some cases, retailers. Consequently, Market price will vary with each marketing producers have more control over the prices strategy. Live fish sold directly to the con- they set for their products, and retain some portion of the profit, that otherwise would sumer usually bring the highest price, but have gone to the middlemen. The main dis- this requires much time and interaction with advantage of niche marketing is that con- the public. Live fish sold to processors usu- siderable time must be spent analyzing and ally bring the lowest market price, but large developing these markets. (Cline, 2005) volumes and specific, short harvest times somewhat offset this price difference. Sell-A successful niche marketing aquaculture ing processed fish is a value-added strategyenterprise will need to exploit markets that that can increase market options and marketare not in direct competition with large- price, but it also increases labor and regu-scale aquaculture. Some of these niche latory requirements. The Missouri Alterna-markets include selling fingerlings to other tives Center Web site has pulled togetherproducers; selling live or processed fish different aquaculture marketing documentsto restaurants, grocers, ethnic markets, or and they are available at http://agebb.mis-live for pond stocking; fee fishing or pay souri.edu/mac/links. Click on A for Aqua-lakes for food-size sport fish; bait fish; and culture, marketing listings.ornamental fish or aquatic plants.Finding niche markets can be confusing, Business Planningbut careful evaluation and a good under- Business planning is crucial to successstanding of market requirements will help for both new and established enterprises.producers develop marketing plans that will Going through the planning processfit their needs. Kenneth Williams, Langs- increases the chances for success and helpston University Fisheries Extension Program, avoid costly mistakes. It can be very help-states in his publication Marketing Fish ful to have your plan evaluated by severalin Oklahoma: people to make sure that you haven’t missedwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. any vital components or issues. This criti- Summary cal evaluation will also be helpful when pre- There are many opportunities in the senting the plan to lenders or other potential dynamic and expanding aquaculture indus- funders, because many financial institutes try. However, aquaculture has risks simi- require a formal business plan. A business lar to those of any farming enterprise. The plan should be a working document that is information provided here highlights many reviewed and updated at least a couple of important factors to consider before pro- times a year. ceeding with an aquaculture enterprise. There is a great deal of information and Should you decide to proceed with an aqua- assistance available for writing and using cultural enterprise, remember that technical business plans. Every state has Small Busi- resources, information, and expertise are ness Development Centers and Cooperative critical to aquaculturists. Potential aqua- Extension offices that offer such assistance, culturists should get information about the as do many state economic development specific cultural techniques and fish spe- agencies. However, many producers would cies they are interested in. They should also like to have business plan examples and develop contacts with many associations other information that is specific to aqua- and government agencies (such as fish dis- culture. The Missouri Alternatives Center ease labs) to get assistance if needed. Web site has pulled together different aqua- culture business planning documents and Further Resources they are available at http://agebb.missouri. Many electronic resources are avail- edu/mac/links. Click on A for Aquaculture, able to beginning aquaculturists. Excel- business plan listings. lent starting locations are the Aquaculture The ATTRA publication Agricultural Network Information Center (AquaNIC) Business Planning Templates and Resources Home Page at http://aquanic.org and the Delaware Aquaculture Resource Center’s does not tell you how to write a business AquaPrimer: Introduction to Aquaculture at plan, but it does refer you to sources of http://darc.cms.udel.edu/AquaPrimer/ business planning informat ion and Aquaprimerindex.html. Search engines assistance that are more relevant to the such as Yahoo can also be used to locate smaller scale or alternative agricultural/ other lists on the World Wide Web. aquacultural entrepreneur. Many federal and state agencies such as the The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Cooperative Extension Service, Fish and Agriculture publishes the 280-page Build- Wildlife Service, Department of Agricul- ing a Sustainable Business—A Guide to ture, and Natural Resources Conservation Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Service (NRCS) provide technical and diag- Rural Businesses. This guide will help nostic services, as well as publish informa- develop a detailed business plan and tion on specific aquaculture topics. looks at ways to take advantage of new marketing opportunities. It is available In the 1980s, the USDA established five on-line at www.misa.umn.edu/publications/ regional Aquaculture Research and Devel- bizplan.html or can be purchased from: opment Centers. These centers develop research and Extension education pro- Minnesota Institute for Sustainable grams and publications in aquaculture hav- Agriculture ing either regional or national applications. 411 Borlaug Hall These centers work in association with uni- 1991 Upper Buford Circle versities, colleges, state agencies, and pri- St. Paul, MN 55108 vate industry to address research priorities 800–909–MISA (6472) and technology transfer of new research misamail@umn.edu findings. For more information about yourPage 8 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  9. 9. Regional Aquaculture Center or its publications, con- people interested in aquaculture, from the expert to thetact your Regional Center listed in Appendix I. novice. An annual subscription to Aquaculture Magazine, which includes the Annual Buyers Guide andThe National Sea Grant Program is a partnershipbetween universities and the National Oceanic and Industry Directory, is $24.00, or just the Annual Buy-Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that started ers Guide and Industry Directory for $22.00. They arein 1966. Today, the Sea Grant University programs available from:produce and share research information on problems Aquaculture Magazineand new uses for the world’s marine, Great Lakes, Subscription Departmentand coastal resources. For more information, contact P.O. Box 1409your state’s Sea Grant Program listed in Appendix II Arden, NC 28704-9817or visit the National Sea Grant Program Web site at 828–687–0011www.nsgo.seagrant.org. 828–681-0601 FAXThe Alternative Farming Systems Information Center editor@aquaculture.com(AFSIC) at the USDA National Agriculture Library www.aquaculturemag.com(NAL) is another excellent source for aquaculture infor- There are also many state, regional, national, andmation. The AFSIC serves as a national clearinghouse international professional and/or industry associa-for aquaculture information and provides materials to a tions that deal with aquaculture development. Manyvariety of clientele, including farmers, government agen- of these associations have newsletters and other pub-cies, industry personnel, and prospective farmers. The lications available. For information on member-AFSIC has Internet links for most of the U.S. federal ship, annual dues, and other services available,government agencies dealing with aquaculture listed at contact the associations directly. Many of these asso-www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/afsaqua.htm#Fed. The AFSIC ciations are listed on the electronic AquaNIC Web sitecreated the 48-page Organic Aquaculture AFSIC Notes http://aquanic.org, or in the Aquaculture Magazine#5 in 2005. The document is available from AFSIC inprint or at their Web site. For more information about Annual Buyer’s Guide.AFSIC contact: ReferencesAlternative Farming Systems Information Center Avault, Jr., James W. 2004. Legal considerationsUSDA, ARS, National Agricultural Library10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 132 in commercial aquaculture. Two-part series.Beltsville, MD 20705-2351 Aquaculture Magazine. January-February,301–504–6559 March-April. p. 52-55, 55-58.301–504–6409 FAX Avault, Jr., James W. 2002-3. The small fishafsic@nal.usda.govwww.nal.usda.gov/afsic farmer—Is there a niche? Three-part series. Aquaculture Magazine. September/October,Reference books and textbooks are useful sources of November/December, January/February.general and technical information on various aspects of p. 44-48, 48-50, 56-58.aquaculture. Many of these are available at public anduniversity libraries or through inter-library loan. Addi- Boehmer, S., M. Gold, S. Hauser, W. Thomas, and A.tional sources of books on aquaculture are local book- Young. 2005. Organic Aquaculture AFSICstores and aquaculture book suppliers (see list of book Notes #5. USDA, ARS, National Agriculturaldealers in Appendix III). Library. January. 46 p.Aquaculture periodicals, journals, newsletters, and www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/afsaqua.htmmagazines are good sources on all aspects of up-to-date research and recent developments covering various Cline, David. 2005. Marketing options for smalltopics in aquaculture. aquaculture producers. Aquaculture Maga-An excellent magazine is the bi-monthly Aquaculture zine. March/April. p. 24-32.Magazine, dealing with all aspects of aquaculture. http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/education/ras/Their Annual Buyers Guide and Industry Directory is an publications/bus_mark/Marketing%20Options%excellent reference, providing information for all 20for%20Small%20Producers%20ANR-962.pdfwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. Gebhart, Glen, and Kenneth Williams. 2000. Is 662–686–3320 FAX Fish Farming for Me? Langston University www.msstate.edu/dept/srac/ Extension. 6 p. Western Regional Aquaculture Center www.luresext.edu/aquaculture/ School of Fishery & Aquatic Science is_ fish_ farming_ for_me.htm Box 355020Williams, Kenneth. 2000. Marketing Fish in Okla- University of Washington homa. Langston University Extension. 4 p. Seattle, WA 98195-5020 www.luresext.edu/aquaculture/ 206–543–4291 marketing_ fish_in_oklahoma.htm 206–685–4674 FAX www.fish.washington.edu/wracAppendicesAppendix I: List of U.S. Regional Aquaculture Centers Appendix IIAppendix II: List of Sea Grant Programs by StateAppendix III: Aquaculture Book Dealers SEA GRANT PROGRAMSAppendix IV: Scientific Names of Aquaculture Species (From National Sea Grant Program Web page, July 2005)Appendix I The National Sea Grant Program is a partnership between universities and the National Oceanic andLIST OF U.S. REGIONAL AQUACULTURE Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that started inCENTERS 1966. Today, the Sea Grant University programs pro-Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture duce and share research information on problems andThe Oceanic Institute new uses for the world’s marine, Great Lakes, and41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy. coastal resources.Waimanalo, HI 96795 Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium808–259-3168 LaDon Swann808–259-8395 FAX 703 East Beach Drivewww.ctsa.org P.O. Box 7000North Central Regional Aquaculture Center Ocean Springs, MS 39566-7000Michigan State University 228–818–884313 Natural Resources Bldg. 228–818–8841 FAXEast Lansing, MI 48824-1222 swanndl@auburn.edu517–353-1962 www.masgc.org/517–353–7181 FAX Alaska Sea Granthttp://www.ncrac.org/ Brian AlleeNortheast Regional Aquaculture Center University of Alaska FairbanksUniversity of Massachusetts Dartmouth P.O. Box 755040Violette Building, Room 201 Fairbanks, AK 99775-5040285 Old Westport Road 907–474–7949Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300 907–474–6285 FAX508–999–8157 allee@sfos.uaf.edu866–472–6722 (toll-free) www.uaf.edu/seagrant/508–999–8590 FAX California Sea Granthttp://www.nrac.umd.edu/ Russell A. MollSouthern Regional Aquaculture Center UC– San Diego127 Experiment Station Road 9500 Gilman DriveP.O. Box 197 La Jolla, CA 92093-0232Stoneville, MS 38776 858–534–4440662–686–3285 858–534–2231 FAXPage 10 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  11. 11. rmoll@ucsd.edu mrawson@uga.cc.uga.eduwww.csgc.ucsd.edu www.marsci.uga.edu/gaseagrant/University of Southern California Sea Hawaii Sea GrantGrant Program E. Gordon GrauLinda E. Duguay University of Hawaii3616 Trousdale Parkway - AHF 209F 2525 Correa Road, HIG 238Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373 Honolulu, HI 96822213–821–1335 808–956–7031213–740–5936 FAX 808–956–3014 FAXduguay@usc.edu sg-dir@soest.hawaii.eduwww.usc.edu/org/seagrant/seagrant.html www.soest.hawaii.edu/SEAGRANT/index.phpConnecticut Sea Grant Illinois-Indiana Sea GrantEdward C. Monahan William SullivanUniversity of Connecticut University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign108 Shennecossett Road 1101 W. Peabody DriveGroton, CT 06340-6097 350 NSRC, MC-635860–405–9110 Urbana, IL 61801806–405–9109 FAX 217–333–6444edward.monahan@uconn.eduwww.seagrant.uconn.edu/ 217–333–8046 FAX wcsulliv@uiuc.eduDelaware Sea Grant www.iisgcp.org/Nancy TargettUniversity of Delaware Louisiana Sea GrantGraduate College of Marine Studies Charles Wilson11 Robinson Hall Louisiana State UniversityNewark, DE 19716-3501 239 Sea Grant Building302–831–2841 Baton Rouge, LA 70803-7507302–831–4389 FAX 225–578–6710ntargett@udel.edu 225–578–6331 FAXwww.ocean.udel.edu/seagrant/ cwilson@lsu.edu www.laseagrant.org/Florida Sea GrantJames C. Cato Maine Sea GrantUniversity of Florida Paul AndersonBuilding 803 University of MaineMcCarty Drive 5715 Coburn Hall, Room 14Box 110400 Orono, ME 04469-5715Gainesville, FL 32611-0400 207–581–1435352–392–5870 207–581–1426 FAX352–392–5113 FAX panderson@maine.edujcato@mail.ifas.ufl.edu www.seagrant.umaine.edu/www.flseagrant.org Maryland Sea GrantGeorgia Sea Grant Jonathan KramerMac V. RawsonUniversity of Georgia University of Maryland220 Marine Sciences Building 4321 Hartwick Road, Suite 300Athens, GA 30602-3636 College Park, MD 20740706–542–6009 301–403–4220706–542–3652 FAX 301–403–4255 FAXwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 11
  12. 12. kramer@mdsg.umd.edu swanndl@auburn.eduwww.mdsg.umd.edu/ www.masgc.org/MIT Sea Grant New Hampshire Sea GrantChryssostomos Chryssostomidis Jonathan PennockMassachusetts Institute of Technology University of New HampshireBuilding E38, Room 330 142 Morse HallKendall Square Durham, NH 03824-3517292 Main Street 603–862–3517Cambridge, MA 02139-9910 603–862–0243617–253–7131 jonathan.pennock@unh.edu617–258–5730 FAXchrys@mit.edu www.seagrant.unh.edu/http://web.mit.edu/seagrant/ New Jersey Sea GrantWHOI Sea Grant Michael P. WeinsteinJudith E. McDowell New Jersey Marine Sciences ConsortiumWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution Building #22193 Oyster Pond Road, MS #2 Fort Hancock, NJ 07732Woods Hole, MA 02543-1525 732–872–1300, ext. 21508–289–2557 732–291–4483 FAX508–457–2172 FAX mweinstein@njmsc.orgjmcdowell@whoi.edu www.njmsc.org/www.whoi.edu/seagrant/ New York Sea GrantMichigan Sea Grant Jack S. MatticeDonald Scavia State University of New York401 E. Liberty, Suite 330, TCF BuildingAnn Arbor, MI 48104-2299 121 Discovery Hall734–763–1437 Stony Brook, NY 11794-5001734–647–0768 FAX 631–632–6905scavia@umich.edu 631–632–6917 FAXhttp://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/ jmattice@notes.cc.sunysb.edu www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/Minnesota Sea GrantCarl Richards North Carolina Sea GrantUniversity of Minnesota Ronald Hodson208 Washburn Hall North Carolina State University 100B2305 E. Fifth Street 1911 Building, Hillsborough StreetDuluth, MN 55812-1445 Campus Box 8605218–726–8710 Raleigh, NC 27695-8605218–726–6556 FAX 919–515–2454crichard@d.umn.edu 919–515–7095 FAXwww.seagrant.umn.edu/ ronald.hodson@ncsu.eduMississippi–Alabama Sea Grant Consortium www.ncseagrant.org/LaDon Swann Ohio Sea Grant703 East Beach Drive Jeffrey M. ReutterP.O. Box 7000 Ohio State UniversityOcean Springs, MS 39566-7000 1314 Kinnear Road, Room 100228–818–8843 Columbus, OH 43212-1194228–818–8841 FAX 614–292–8949Page 12 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  13. 13. 614–292–4364 FAX Rick.Devoe@scseagrant.orgreutter.1@osu.edu www.scseagrant.org/www.sg.ohio-state.edu/ Texas Sea GrantOregon Sea Grant Robert R. StickneyRobert Malouf Texas A & M UniversityOregon State University 2700 Earl Rudder Freeway South322 Kerr Administration Building Suite 1800Corvallis, OR 97331-2131 College Station, TX 77845541–737–2714 979–845–3854541–737–2392 FAX 979–845–7525 FAXRobert.Malouf@orst.edu stickney@tamu.edu http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu/http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/ Vermont Lake Champlain Sea GrantPennsylvania Sea Grant Jurij HomziakRobert W. Light University of VermontPenn State Erie 317 Aiken CenterGlenhill Farmhouse Burlington, VT 05405-00885091 Station Road 802–656–0682Erie, PA 16563-0101 802–656–8683 FAX814–898–6160 jhomziak@zoo.uvm.edu814–898–6420 FAX www.uvm.edu/~seagrant/rwl2@psu.eduwww.pserie.psu.edu/seagrant/seagindex.htm Virginia Sea Grant William L. RickardsPuerto Rico Sea Grant University of VirginiaManuel Valdes-Pizzini Madison HouseUniversity of Puerto Rico 170 Rugby Road310 Physics Building P.O. Box 400146Mayaguez, PR 00681-9011 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4146787–832–3585 434–924–5965787–265–2880 FAX 434–982–3694 FAXma_valdes@rumac.uprm.edu rickards@virginia.eduhttp://seagrant.uprm.edu www.virginia.edu/virginia-sea-grant/Rhode Island Sea Grant Washington Sea GrantBarry A. Costa-Pierce Louie S. Echols University of WashingtonUniversity of Rhode Island Box 355060Graduate School of Oceanography 3716 Brooklyn Avenue, N.E.129 Coastal Institute Building Seattle, WA 98105-6716Narragansett, RI 02882-1197 206–543–6600401–874–6800 206–685–0380 FAX401–789–8340 FAX echols@u.washingon.edubcp@gso.uri.edu www.wsg.washington.edu/http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/ Wisconsin Sea GrantSouth Carolina Sea Grant Consortium Anders W. AndrenM. Richard DeVoe University of Wisconsin, Madison287 Meeting Street Goodnight Hall, 2nd floorCharleston, SC 29401 1975 Willow Drive843–727–2078 Madison, WI 53706-1177843–727–2080 FAX 608–263–0905www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 13
  14. 14. 608–262–0591 FAX pbrent@cropking.comawandren@seagrant.wisc.edu www.cropking.comwww.seagrant.wisc.edu/ Florida Aqua Farms 33418 Old Saint Joe RoadAppendix III Dade City, FL 33525AQUACULTURE BOOK DEALERS 352–567–0226 352–567–3742 FAX(From Aquaculture Magazine Buyer’s Guide &Industry Directory 2005) sales@Florida-Aqua-Farms.com www.Florida-Aqua-Farms.comAlternative AquacultureP.O. Box 109 Miami Aqua-culture, Inc. 4606 SW 74 AvenueBreinigsville, PA 18031 Miami, FL 33155610–393–5918 305–262–6605610–395–8202 FAX 305–262–6701 FAXaltaqua@ptd.net dan@miami-aquaculture.comwww.altaqua.com www.miami-aquaculture.comAquacultureCX Old World Exotic Fish13727 SW 152 Street, #299 Box 970583Miami, FL 33177 Miami, FL 33197305–972–2960 305–248–6640305–242–2225 305–245–4228 FAXoffice@aquaculture.cx www.oldworldexoticfish.comwww.aquaculture.cx Seacoast Information Services Inc.Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. 135 Auburn Drive2395 Apopka Blvd. Charlestown, RI 02813Apopka, FL 32703 401–364–6960407–886–3939 401–364–9757 FAX877–347–4788 (toll-free) info@aquanet.com407–886–6787 FAX www.aquanet.comaes@aquaticeco.comwww.aquaticeco.com Shrimp News International 10845 Scripps Ranch Blvd, Suite #4AVA Publishing Company Inc. San Diego, CA 92131P.O. Box 84060 858–271–6354Baton Rouge, LA 70884-4060 858–271–0324 FAX225–763–9656 bob@shrimpnews.com225–766–0728 FAX www.shrimpnews.comAVApub@cox.netwww.AVApub.comCropKing, Inc.5050 GreenwichSeville, OH 44273-9413330–769–2002330–769–2616 FAXPage 14 ATTRA Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies
  15. 15. Appendix IV NAMES OF COMMON AQUACULTURE SPECIES Common name Scientific name Common name Scientific name Abalone Haliotis rufescens Grass shrimp Palaemonetes spp. American alligator Alligator mississippiensis Killifish Fundulus spp. American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Koi Cyprinus carpio American crocodile Crocodylus acutus Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides American eel Anguilla rostrata Muskellunge Esox masquinongy American lobster Homarus americanus Paddlefish Polyodon spathula American oyster Crassostrea virginica Pearl oyster Pinctada martensii Artic char Salvelinus alpinus Pike Esox lucius Atlantic salmon Salmo salar Pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha Bigmouth buffalo Ictiobus cyprinellus Pompano Trachinotus carolinus Black buffalo Ictiobus niger Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus Black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Bloodworm Glycera dibranchiata Red drum Sciaenops ocellatus Blue crab Callinectes sapidus Red swamp crawfish Procambarus clarkii Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus Shiner Notropis spp. Bowfin Amia calva Smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu Brine shrimp Artemia salina Spiny lobster Panulirus argus Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis Steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss Bull minnow Fundulus grandis Stone roller Campostoma spp. Carp Cyprinus carpio Striped bass Morone saxatilis Channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus Threadfin shad Dorosoma petenense Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Tilapia Tilapia mossambica Chub sucker Erimyzon spp. Top minnow Poecilia spp. Coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch Tubifex worm Tubifex tubifex Dungeness crab Cancer magister Walleye Stizostedion vitreum European eel Anguilla anguilla White bass Morone chrysops European lobster Homarus grammarus White crappie Pomoxis annularis Flathead minnow Pimephales promelas White river crawfish Procambarus blandingii Giant river prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii White sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus Golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas Yellow perch Perca flavescens Goldfish Carassius auratus.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 15
  16. 16. Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies By Lance Gegner NCAT Agriculture Specialist ©NCAT 2006 Paul Driscoll, Editor Cynthia Arnold, Production This publication is available on the Web at: www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/aquaculture.html and www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/aquaculture.pdf CT142 Slot 26 Version 030106Page 16 ATTRA

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