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AURI Hosting Aquaculture Panel at Food Ag Ideas Week

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is sponsoring a panel discussion on Minnesota’s growing aquaculture industry at this year’s Food Ag Ideas Week.

The virtual session, entitled “Fields of Innovation: Diving Beneath the Surface of Minnesota’s Aquaculture Industry” is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Harold Stanislawski, AURI’s business development director; Jessica Coburn, vice president of executive coordination at Blue Water Farms Walleye; Nick Phelps, director of the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center; and Paul Damhof, owner of Simply Shrimp LLC, will provide insight during the session.

The panelists will explore Minnesota’s aquaculture industry and highlight how the state’s aquaculture industry is positioned for rapid growth. Demand for fish and seafood is growing both in Minnesota and across the world as consumers look for alternative sources of sustainably produced protein.

Aquaculture – the cultivation of fish and shellfish for food ­– is the fastest growing segment of global food production. Experts value the industry at more than $160 billion worldwide. By 2030, production of farmed fish is projected to expand to 204 million tons, up from 179 million tons in 2018.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports per capita food fish consumption — fish eaten directly by humans — is also on the rise globally and in the United States. The per capita fish consumption in the U.S. hit a record at 19.2 pounds in 2019, up from 17.7 pounds in 2010.

The growth in the industry is driven by many factors including technological developments and a growing understanding of the health benefits of fish consumption. These factors present exciting opportunities for Minnesota’s agricultural community.

“Aquaculture in Minnesota has enormous potential to help meet growing consumer demand for more sustainable protein and provide another market for Minnesota grown crops. To make the appropriate decisions and investments to reach that goal, the industry needs key insight and collaboration from many stakeholders,” said Stanislawski. “We look forward to hosting this panel discussion at Food Ag Ideas Week and to working with producers, entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, investors and businesses to grow this exciting opportunity area for the state’s agriculture economy.”

Led by led Grow North and partners, Food Ag Ideas Week is an annual multi-day series of speakers, events, tours, and showcases to highlight innovative ideas, make connections across the sectors, and invites leaders to join Minnesota’s entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem and move our industry forward. The event was created to bring together the food and ag community to elevate and connect Minnesota’s ecosystem and to create an invitation for the world to engage.

Food Ag Ideas Week runs Oct. 1, 2021, through Oct. 7, 2021. Visit the website to register and learn more about the week’s activities.