RAS-N Project Underway: 3-year effort kicks off with meeting in Wisconsin and presence at Aquaculture America in Hawaii


Last fall we became lead partners with University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), in a multi-state consortium to receive a $1.2 million grant to study how to optimally grow Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in land-based aquaculture systems. An inaugural meeting for this effort, which has been named the Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon Network, or RAS-N, was held in northern Wisconsin at the close of last year. Catch a glimpse of all that happened in our video recap and read more about the meeting in this story from our partners at Wisconsin Sea Grant.


This week several members of the effort were at the Aquaculture America 2020 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, and presented during a set of sessions focused on salmon recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Yoni Zohar, who is the grant’s lead principal investigator, chaired the session. Zohar is chair of the UMBC Department of Marine Biotechnology and based at Baltimore’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, where he oversees one of the nation’s most sophisticated aquaculture research operations.

Participants in the Salmon RAS session at the Aquaculture America 2020 conference

Participants speak during the Salmon RAS session, chaired by Yoni Zohar, at the Aquaculture America 2020 conference. Speakers from left: Brian Peterson (USDA ARS), John Davidson (The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute), Jennifer Fortier Ayrey (Whole Oceans), Yoni Zohar (UMBC), Ten-Tsao Wong (UMBC), Jesse Trushenski (Riverence), William Keleher (Kennebec River Biosciences, Inc.), and Greg Fischer (University of Wisconsin Stevens Point). Photo credit: MDSG / Fredrika Moser

As the work continues and collaborations strengthen, the group is planning to have a fall gathering here in Maryland at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, in which a larger group of stakeholders to will take part. Our project partners include Sea Grant programs in Maine and Wisconsin as well as the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland Extension, Morgan State University, the USDA National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, and the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute in West Virginia. Industry partners and collaborators include Superior Fresh in Wisconsin, Whole Oceans, LLC and Nordic Aquafarms in Maine, and American Salmon in Maryland, among others.

Photo, top left: Juvenile Atlantic salmon in an aquaculture tank at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility in Wisconsin. Photo credit: MDSG / Lisa Tossey


About Maryland Sea Grant

Our communications staff works to inform the public about scientific discoveries and the researchers who make them, findings that can help to protect and restore the Bay and Maryland’s coastal waters. We strive to provide scientifically accurate information with context and depth that nonscientists can understand and enjoy.

Contact the author at communications@mdsg.umd.edu

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