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The recent exponential growth in established or planned US closed-containment Atlantic salmon production has been associated with over $1B investment into this aquaculture sector. The success of this dramatic expansion/investment in land-based, RAS salmon production requires a national, coordinated and interdisciplinary effort to ensure that current barriers are eliminated and efficiency and cost-effectiveness are attained. While major progress has been achieved in recent years in RAS technology, its scaling up may face biological, engineering, technological, economical and societal constraints that should be addressed via a fully integrated research, extension, outreach, education and workforce development network. This network will provide broad support, as well as guide future federal investment toward responsibly building the Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry in the US. This proposal recognizes that we are at an important juncture requiring a solid and effective support base for the development of sustainable land-based RAS salmon producers. To provide this support base, we propose to establish a National Coordinated RAS Network (NCRN) focused on Atlantic salmon RAS aquaculture that will provide crucial support and a capacity-building framework to address current issues/pitfalls and promote success in US salmon RAS production.
To ensure the success of the recent dramatic expansion/investment in land-based salmon production, we propose to establish a coordinated national effort that will review and identify challenges and bottlenecks, and develop a road map and comprehensive strategic plan to address and overcome them. The Maryland, Wisconsin and Maine Sea Grant programs will spearhead the integration of the academic and industrial collaborators into a National Coordinated RAS Network (NCRN) that will support US salmon Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS).
Our program will be guided by the following specific aims: