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Sustainable aquaculture: development of new quantitative metrics for use in marketing aquaculture products


Project Summary

Aquacultural production in the NCR has not been increasing.  However, changing consumer trends (locally produced, fresh, low environmental impact, support local farmers, decrease imports, etc.) offer an opportunity for increased production of fresh fish and shellfish in the NCR.  These trends fall under the broad heading of sustainability.  Sustainable food production is a market trend that might create pull through the supply chains.  At the same time, there are changing definitions of the term sustainability.  Our objectives are to develop quantitative metrics for use in marketing locally grown fish and shellfish.  Recently completed research from us indicated aquaculture and aquaponic systems exerted low impacts, and both fit well within the definition of sustainability. Specific objectives addressed in this project will be working with existing fish farms in the NCR to develop sustainability metrics from real world situations.  We will strategically target production systems (raceway, pond and recirculating systems) and species (trout, walleye, perch, bass, bluegill, catfish and koi) within the NCR with our analyses.  Data developed in this project will be valuable marketing tools for existing farmers and help new producers sort through their options regarding system and species choices for new operations. 


Develop quantitative metrics from existing aquaculture farms in the NCR and compare these values to other food production systems producing competing protein foods.


1. A video will be created to explain LCA as it relates to aquaculture.

2. A video will be created to explain the LCA results of our proposed project.

3. Multiple presentations discussing research results will be delivered in at least two NCR states.

4. At least one peer-reviewed article will be submitted to the Journal of Extension.

5. At least one peer-reviewed journal article will be submitted to a scientific journal.



Progress Report


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Principal Investigator

Chairperson: Paul B. Brown, Purdue University; Co-Investigators: Jen-Yi Huang, Purdue Univ., Rob Anex, Univ. of Wisconsin