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NAA Holds Workshop On Sustainable Aquaculture

US - The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) and the United Soybean Board have teamed up with local hosts to sponsor an important one-day workshop, The Four Ps of a Safe and Sustainable Aquaculture Industry: Practices, Presentation, Promotion and the Press at eight locations across the US.

The NAA commented in a recent press release that the workshop aims to provide fish and shellfish producers with the knowledge and skills to market their products more successfully, grow their businesses, help shape the public’s perception of aquaculture at a local level and work with government decision-makers.

Buyers are increasingly concerned about sustainability, but many are unaware that the traditional definition of sustainability calls for policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To fit that definition, the US aquaculture industry must address environmental concerns on a long-term, global scale; meet the public’s need for a safe, wholesome, healthy, yet affordable food supply; and respond to the socio-economic challenges of the 21st century.

Current federal and state regulations help to ensure the sustainable growth of the US aquaculture industry, the use of environmentally friendly practices, and product safety. Buyers and the public need to understand that US producers adhere to strict federal and state regulations that have the force of law and are a definitive proof of industry standards.

US growers are increasingly challenged by inexpensive imports, environmental advocates who don’t fully understand aquaculture, and negative media attention. The goal of the workshop is therefore to help producers meet these challenges by arming them with accurate information to respond effectively to government decision-makers, buyers, the general public, environmental groups, and the media.

Farm visits are a great way to help educate people about aquaculture - what visitors see can be more influential than what is said. Strategies to make those farm visits more effective will be a highlight of the program.

Workshop presentations include farm practices that demonstrate the absence of exotic diseases and invasive species, as well as regional perspectives of the environmental soundness and sustainability of aquaculture. Environmentally sound practices are increasingly important as both large institutional and small regional buyers actively search out eco-friendly growers and develop purchase specifications that include a sustainability component.

Tough questions about product safety, imported seafood, risk/benefit studies, the advantages of actual seafood consumption versus fish oil capsules, feed concerns, best management practices, and environmental impact will be answered. Proactive strategies that anticipate negative stories before they emerge will be discussed and stakeholders will be equipped with the tools necessary to reshape negative messages before they spin out of control.

Workshops will provide aquaculture producers with the tools to help ensure that they can provide positive, upbeat, scientifically accurate information to help spread the good news about US aquaculture. In addition to the actual workshop, each participant will receive a toolbox containing handy references and important information.

Workshop instructors include Dr Andy Goodwin and Dr.Nathan Stone of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Linda O’Dierno, NAA Outreach Specialist, Betsy Hart, NAA Executive Director, and a local speaker. To help ensure the free exchange of ideas and concerns, workshop participation will be limited to the aquaculture industry.

For those interested in registering or sponsorship opportunities, please see below a listing of currently scheduled workshops for the rest of 2011



Date Location Contact
7/27/11 Hawaii Honolulu Todd Low 808-587-0030 tlow@hawaiiaquaculture.org
7/28/11 Hawaii Kona Kevin Hopkins 808-933-3290 hopkins@hawaii.edu
8/10/11 Texas San Marcos Rob Schmid 512-353-0572 Rob.Schmid@tpwd.state.tx.us
10/7/11 Maine Portland Dana Morse 207-563-3146 ext 205 dana.morse@maine.edu
10/28/11 Colorado Denver Scott Leach 303-239-4295 scott.leach@ag.state.co.us

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