US: "Hawaii's aquaculture industry is set to boom but needs state's help"

According to Honolulu Civil Beat, Hawaii’s $90 million aquaculture industry is predicting significant growth over the next five years and is calling on legislators to help. Sales of Hawaii’s aquaculture products jumped by 12% in 2022, and production has more than tripled in the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bucking the statewide trend of declining agriculture.

The potential for the industry is boundless, industry insiders told the Hawaii AgriFood Summit last week, and aquaculture has the potential to diversify Hawaii’s economy and increase local food production.

Algae and fish farming featured prominently in discussions at the two-day summit, with speakers considering everything from the use of algae-based feed for cattle to developing technologies for more sustainable fish farms.

“I often think that we don’t get enough credit for how much we’ve achieved in aquaculture,” Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association president Ron Weidenbach said at the conference.

The value of algae
Hawaii has been responsible for some of the biggest innovations in global aquaculture, including developing the $30 million per year export industry with SPF brood shrimp. It also hosts the only offshore fish farm in the country. One of the state’s most valuable crops overall is algae, worth almost $45.4 million last year, according to USDA.

Read the entire article at Honolulu Civil Beat

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