DOAG: Getting Started In Aquaculture

Getting Started In Aquaculture

The future for aquaculture in the United States is a bright one. As the harvest of natural or wild stocks continues to decline, the availability of domestic farm-raised fish and shellfish is growing rapidly. The market continues to be very promising with more health conscious consumers becoming aware of the benefits of eating fish and shellfish products.

While the outlook for fish farming and shellfish culture in general is very good, getting started in the business takes thought, planning and, of course, some capital. Aquaculture techniques and methodologies are well established. Years of work by farmers and researchers have led to the development of proven and financially successful operations.

There are some key items that need to be considered when thinking about getting started in aquaculture. First of all, you need to consider what fish or shellfish you would like to grow. Then you need to explore the potential marketability and distribution of your crop. One of the most critical items you must consider is site location. For most aquaculture operations, an abundant source of good quality water is essential. And, as with any business, you need to develop a financial strategy and plan before you take the plunge into aquafarming.

You must also have a clear understanding of what State, Federal and local requirements would pertain to your aquaculture operation. The requirements can include anything from a water discharge permit to the certification of fish food. for over a year.  Can we put it on our website on the geting started page.  A resource for information is: Getting Started in Aquaculture

An excellent source of general information for anyone interested in aquaculture is the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Aquaculture Information Center. The Information Center Staff concentrate their efforts on acquiring books, periodicals and other aquaculture related materials. Send your inquiries to the Aquaculture Information Center, National Agricultural Library, Room 304, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. Phone: (301) 504-5558, FAX: (301) 504-6409, E-mail

Commercial aquaculture is no different than traditional agriculture and requires the same hard work and dedication to reap the rewards anticipated from the farming venture.