Since 2017, Aqquua has been working with the University of Miami Aquaculture program at RSMAS in the development of hatchery technology for Tuna (Thunnus app), hirame or Japanese Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) and other commercially important marine fish species.
This has assisted and expedited Aqquua in achieving its goal of developing commercial marine fish aquaculture in the United States using land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). Based on successful experiences with Aqquua, the company has opted for using advanced land-based systems in the US. The first step towards implementing viable land-based operations is to identify and select species that can be successfully raised in RAS. For this reason, Aqquua has teamed up with UM Aquaculture to identify and select high-value species that can be raised at high stocking densities in such systems.
This initiative represents an excellent opportunity to conduct trials to evaluate the aquaculture performance aimed at improving aquaculture technologies for a number of high-value species ranging from demersal flounder to pelagic tuna.
Aqquua has the vision and aims to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by partnering with the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami in joint research and development. The economic opportunity is clear: the current US yearly seafood trade deficit amounts to almost $13 billion. Besides, over 90% of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported – and most of it is farmed. Americans are consuming more seafood than ever, and the upwards trend continues as a consequence of the recognized and well publicized health benefits of seafood consumption.
U.S. Commercial Fisheries
Commercial fishery landings of edible fish and shellfish were 9.5 billion pounds in 2014. Over 80% of the total commercial catch was finfish, but shellfish represented more than 50% of the total value.
U.S. Aquaculture Production
The production of farm raised fish and shellfish in 2013 was about 662 million pounds worth $1.4 billion. In the United States, the amount of fish and shellfish harvested from the wild annually is about 8 times greater than the amount produced by domestic aquaculture farms. Pond raised catfish represents about two thirds of the total farm raised seafood products produced annually in the U.S. Other important domestically produced aquaculture food products in order of the quantity produced include: crawfish, salmon, trout, oysters, tilapia, striped bass, clams, shrimp, and mussels.