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Advancing Sustainable Aquaculture Production Systems For Rural Communities And Local Limited Resource Farmers


<p>Imports of cheaper fish products have been increasing into the US partly because of higher costs of domestic fish production. Capital expenditures for land, ponds and tanks or other facilities are some of the reasons for the higher costs in the US and directly affect the overall market prices for food fish. Novel, cost-saving and sustainable practices need to be incorporated to remain competitive. Reuse of existing facilities that can be retrofitted for aquaculture, such as decommissioned wastewater treatment plants, or use of existing water such as water supply lakes could be options. The goal of this project is to develop reliable sustainable systems to produce stocker fishes and food products that are consumer safe in rural communities, to create jobs and to generate revenue for their economies.
The specific objectives are:
<li>evaluate fingerling fish (i.e. hybrid catfish, hybrid striped bass and paddlefish) fed live foods and/or prepared diets cultured in dechlorinated tap water (drinking water) and reclaimed water;</li>
<li>biomonitor fish tissues for contaminants cultured in watershed and reclaimed water sources;</li>
<li>evaluate mature paddlefish harvested from water supply lakes for their roe and meat quality and food safety; and,</li>
<li>develop bioeconomic models that evaluate the production possibilities and costs associated with decommissioned wastewater facilities and water supply lakes.</li></ol>
Project results will be disseminated through referred manuscript, lay articles, television, video, internet outlets and meeting presentations. This project is relevant to the goals of United States Department of Agriculture and Kentucky State University College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems in their attempts to improve efficiency and profitability of farms, diversify crops, use high value species to improve financial situation and quality of life for rural communities and their economies in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States.</p>

More information

<p>This project will use standard scientific methods to analyze and evaluate the results and provide:
<li>technological information for using decommissioned wastewater facilities and identifying commercially viable species of fishes for an aquaculture enterprise which will have direct application for sustainable aquaculture production in the region and the nation;</li>
<li>information to verify the safety of the fish for the health of the consumer by evaluating the tissue for heavy metals and pesticides;</li>
<li>information for assisting municipalities and limited resource farmers in sustainable aquaculture.</li></ol>
This research involves many specific sub-disciplines that require the interaction with a "cluster" of KSU researchers and other scientists in the U.S. This collaboration can also help in the training of undergraduate and graduate students. Further, the cluster will provide workshops for the public and educate them in the usefulness of sustainable aquaculture practices (i.e. reservoir ranching) and reuse technology (i.e. use of decommissioned wastewater treatment facilities) to produce consumer-safe food products. Scientific reporting of the project activities will be made quarterly to the university administration and to collaborators. Regular discussions will be held with individuals involved in the project to facilitate progress of the project. Maximum efforts will be made to overcome any unforeseen difficulties as soon as possible. Students will be closely supervised and trained in all procedures used in the project. Manuscripts will be published in referred journals, professional magazines, and layman articles. Presentations will be given at local, regional and national meetings.</p>

Tidwell, JA
Kentucky State University
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