NUTRITION, IMMUNE SYSTEM ENHANCEMENT, AND PHYSIOLOGY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS
Location: Aquatic Animal Health Research
Title: AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY AND FISH NUTRITION RESEARCH IN THE UNITED STATES
Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 19, 2004
Publication Date: September 3, 2005
Citation: Lim, C.E., Klesius, P.H. 2005. Aquaculture industry and fish nutrition research in the United States. Proceedings of 5th Symposium of World's Chinese Scientists on Nutrition and Feeding of Finfish and Shellfish. p. 54-74.
Compared to China and many other Asian countries, aquaculture in the United States (U.S.) is a relatively new industry. Until the 1950s, aquatic species were produced principally to provide seeds for restocking programs, to use as baits for sport fishing and for family consumption. Although trout has been raised for food since in the early 1900s, only with the advent of commercial culture of channel catfish in the early 1960's did commercial aquaculture become visible as an important industry. Aquaculture is practiced in all U.S. states and territories and is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture industry. During the past three decades, the industry has expanded rapidly and is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Hundreds of different aquatic species are being grown in the U.S. These include animal and plant species that are used for food, ornamentals, environmental improvement and biomedical research. Although as many as 30 are being used as aquaculture species, 10 species make up most of the U.S. aquacultured food production. Channel catfish production is by far the most important sector of the U.S. aquaculture, valued at about $492.5 million in 1999. Approximately 96% of the catfish is produced in four southern states namely Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. Others aquaculture species grown for food are salmon, trout, tilapia, hybrid striped bass, marine shrimp, oyster, clam, mussels and crawfish. Estimated farm values in 1999 for other species are $76.8 million for salmon, $65.1 million for trout, $26.6 million for tilapia, $21.9 million for hybrid striped bass, $41.8 million for clams, $0.8 million for mussels, $57.0 million for oysters, and $13.7 million for shrimp. At present, domestic aquaculture production accounts for only about 10% of the U.S. seafood consumption, with 30% coming from captured fisheries and 60% coming from imports.
To support this fast growing industry and maintain its global competitiveness, several institutions (universities, governmental agencies and private institutions) are actively engaged in research on nutrition, feeds and feeding of various commercially important fish species and other species of interest in aquaculture. The goals are to develop low-cost and environmentally-friendly feeds, and more efficient feeding strategies to increase production efficiencies, improve fish health, decrease production cost, improve product quality, and minimize environmental impact. The major research areas include: nutrient requirements and their effects on stress and disease resistance; nutrient metabolism and nutritional physiology; development, and evaluation of nutritional value and nutrient bioavailability of alternative feed ingredients; effects of antinutritional factors and feed-borne toxins (mycotoxins) on fish growth, reproduction and health; use of feed additives (hormone, enzymes, immunostimulants, etc.) and probiotics to improve fish growth, health and disease resistance; effects of feeding on nutrient retention, production efficiency, water quality and fish health; and development of nutrient-enhanced fisheries products through nutrition and feeding management.