Title Aquaculture in the United States of America: Present Status and Future Opportunities
Authers Paul G. OLIN
Keywords aquaculture, United States, shellfish, finfish, production
Citation Bull. Fish. Res. Agen. No.35, 7-13, 2012
This represents a review of the status and trends in aquaculture development in the United States. The paper covers current levels of American production and species diversity, production trends over the last decade, available resources and governmental support, and projections for future industry growth and development.  Total aquaculture production in the United States of 496,907 metric tonnes in 2008 generated US$924 million. The aquaculture industry grew between 1998 and 2008, increasing 12 percent in tonnage and 19 percent in value. This increase resulted entirely from the shellfish sector, where production increased 65 percent from 127,059 to 209,775 tonnes, with a corresponding 186 percent increase in value from US$113 to US$323 million. In contrast, the finfish sector declined 9 percent in both tonnage and value with 2008 production of 287,132 tonnes worth US$601 million.
 The increase in shellfish production was achieved primarily through additional production of Pacific and Eastern oysters, hard clams, manila clams and red swamp crayfish. While still the dominant species, the U.S. channel catfish industry has experienced strong competition as a result of significant increases in imports of basa and tra from Southeast Asia and has declined in recent years. In 2008, American catfish growers produced 201,000 metric tonnes of fish valued at US$389 million.
 FAO has projected the need for an additional 40 million metric tonnes of seafood by 2030 to meet anticipated increases in global demand. There is potential for significant increases in production in the United States. The NOAA Aquaculture Program within the National Marine Fisheries Service released a Ten Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture in 2007, which identified opportunities for potential growth in the sector. While not specific targets, estimates are that domestic aquaculture production has the potential to increase in value from US$1 billion to more than US$3 billion by 2025. This additional production would be comprised of 760,000 tons of finfish, of which 590,000 tons would be marine finfish, 47,000 tons of crustaceans, and 245,000 tonnes of molluscs.
 Future significant growth in the American aquaculture industry will likely follow the successful model demonstrated by the Atlantic salmon industry in Canada with new technologies enabling net-pen culture to move further offshore. There are ample areas for this expansion and pilot projects in the U.S. have demonstrated the viability of this approach. However, in some regions there is considerable opposition and whether a significant industry sector develops will require the establishment of a regulatory regime that insures environmental protection while enabling the economic viability of aquaculture ventures.
URI http://www.fra.affrc.go.jp/bulletin/bull/bull35/35-2.pdf