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Second Annual SAS^2 Conference Highlighted in Recirculating Salmon News

RAS network

Second Annual SAS^2 Conference Highlighted in Recirculating Salmon News

Farm News NAA

A special edition of the quarterly newsletter, Recirculating Salmon News, is now posted focusing on the second annual Sustainable Aquaculture Systems Supporting Atlantic Salmon (SAS2) conference held in Baltimore during October 2023.

More than 110 academic researchers, industry pros, government officials and educators met at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). The conference’s nine panel discussions (with more than 50 panelists), local field trips and tours, and social events gave stakeholders the opportunity to share progress and address remaining challenges to move the aquaculture industry forward.

Yonathan Zohar, professor of marine biotechnology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and IMET, leads the SAS2 consortium, which includes 32 co-investigators, 12 research institutions, and 11 industry partners, from around the U.S. and internationally.

Session topics at the conference included scientific and engineering challenges like waste remediation, water reuse, and managing the salmon life cycle in captivity. Other sessions discussed market research for salmon produced on land and examples of education programs that increase awareness of aquaculture careers.

Federal-Industry Panel Speakers

Charlie Culpepper of the National Aquaculture Association moderated a Federal-Industry panel session that focused on research and development priorities for RAS farms. While U.S. RAS farmers have some unique priorities, the panel's discussion identified far more commonalities than differences, especially when it comes to federal programs and priorities. To move the needle in Washington, Charlie underlined the importance of a strong, unified U.S. aquaculture industry. A special thanks to Steve Summerfelt, Superior Fresh, Bill Keleher, Kennebec River Biosciences, Caird Rexroad, USDA Agriculture Research Service, and Ken Riley, NOAA Office of Aquaculture, for dedicating time to lead this important discussion. 

Attendees also traveled to The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute in West Virginia to see collaborative SAS2 research, visited Baltimore City Schools that incorporate aquaculture into the curriculum, toured the IMET Aquaculture Research Center, and heard from graduate students contributing to the research arm of SAS2.

The work at IMET has been critical to move the industry forward worldwide. The SAS2 initiative, awarded $10 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2021, builds on the Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network, also led by Zohar and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant Office.

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