The conference and trade show will be at the Sheraton Atlantic Beach Hotel an is open to prospective growers, researchers, teachers, students or any other industry related to aquaculture.
The conference will cover a range of topics including niche marketing, sustainability, start-up strategies, recirculating systems and more. The highlight of the conference is the Aquafood Festival that showcases the state’s aquaculture industry on Saturday night.
“The state has seen continued growth in aquaculture operations since this conference was first held 20 years ago,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who will speak to the crowd on Friday. “This conference gives prospective aquaculture farmers more insight into the business, and helps current famers stay up to date on trends and research.”
Early birds will have the opportunity to attend self-guided farm tours on Thursday, 17 January. The tours will include a hands-on lab that will provide attendees the tools to examine, handle and evaluate fish for market. The NC Shellfish Growers Association and the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association will hold a joint meeting after the final session.
The conference is organised by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the NC Aquaculture Association, NC Farm Bureau Federation, NC Sea Grant, the NC Small Business & Technology Development Center and NC State University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Corporate sponsors include Carolina Classics Catfish Inc. and Aquatic Eco-systems Inc.