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Future Holds Promise for High-end Wild Fish Products

ALASKA - Aquaculture, which includes fish farming, will dominate the future world seafood industry, but there will be increased opportunities for wild products in the upper end of the market, says economics professor James L. Anderson.

The forecast for increased demand for seafood is good for Alaska but fishermen must remember they are competing against other proteins, said James L. Anderson, chair of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, R.I.

In the long run, all significant commercial seafood supplies will come from three sources: Fish farms, aquaculture-enhanced fisheries and wild fisheries that adopt sustainable management systems, Anderson told participants at the Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit II in Anchorage on Dec. 11. The forum was organized by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Wild fisheries will thrive if harvesters adopt management systems that clearly define rights and responsibilities; stop fighting over access and allocation; emphasize economic and environmental sustainability; improve quality; understand markets; and adapt to meet consumer demands and reduce bureaucracy and waste, Anderson said.

To enhance the sale of wild products, he told the fishermen to create a message of diversity. Sell the “sauce,” sell the “image,” Anderson said, but also meet the demand for consistent availability and quality, stable or declining costs and other consumer demands, he said.

Source: AlaskaJournal

Ellen Hardy

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