Oregon seeks to expand aquafarming


Report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture concludes the state should double the size of fish farming industry.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

A report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture concluded that the state should double the size of fish farming industry.

Right now, aquafarming accounts for $12.1 million in the state’s economy, according to Portland Business Journal.

The goal: Boost the value of aquafarmed products to $22.7 million, 90 percent more than the current value, according to the report. Jerry Gardner, business development manager for the Department of Agriculture, said the discussion already is sparking plenty of interest, including a shellfish bill pending in Salem.

And there are promising signs of innovation in the sector. The Ingenuity Innovation Center near St. Helens, founded by Kate Wildrick and partner Aaron Imhof, is home to a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse where fee-paying members are learning the basics of aquaponics, a form of aquaculture that grows fish together with produce in a closed-loop system.

Two-thirds of the world’s seafood will be produced by fish farming by 2030, according to the DOA report.

 




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