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Research Project: Aquaculture Research Communication and Coordination to Improve Shrimp Production and Reduce Harmful Algae

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00104-001-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 20, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2021

Objective:
Convene research and industry leaders and subject matter experts during a facilitated workshop to collectively evaluate and assess current status and greatest needs for stimulating and sustaining productive shrimp aquaculture operations in the U.S. with emphasis on production in the Gulf States region. Establish a set of strategic U.S. research priorities for domestic shrimp aquaculture development and production. These priorities will be developed to inform and focus research activities that may include, but are not limited to: • Germplasm, genetic improvement, and application of genomic technologies • Disease etiology and prevention • Production technologies and innovation • Control of harmful cyanobacteria (toxic algal blooms) and food safety threats inproduction systems • Water and environmental policies for sustainable aquaculture practices • Economic drivers of successful aquaculture operations Publish a workshop summary document that describes the consensus priorities and recommendations for immediate and short-term actions.

Approach:
A planning committee will be established to coordinate the workshop structure and activities, and to identify expert participants to serve as workshop speakers and topic area leaders and discussion facilitators. The planning committee will include ARS scientists and Gulf Region researchers, who have substantial expertise in aquaculture, commercial shrimp production, genetics, algae development, and strategic planning and leadership of large, multidisciplinary research projects. The planning committee will establish workshop focus areas for the workshop, invite additional individuals to the planning committee to ensure necessary subject matter expertise, draft “starter documents” and invite speakers to facilitate productive discussion for the workshop. The committee will also oversee all necessary preparations for conducting the proposed workshop, and will involve additional aquaculture personnel from the region in the workshop planning and preparations to ensure broad participation. The invitational workshop will be held in calendar year 2021, conditions permitting. The planning committee will finalize the conference location and other logistics, with a proposed plan to conduct the workshop in Corpus Christi, TX. This site is an ideal Gulf area location in a region of recent aquaculture and mariculture activity and investment. In 2107, Texas was the country’s largest producer of farmed shrimp. The committee will solicit input from federal and state agencies, the research community, and aquaculture industry and will invite approximated 100 participants, including 15 invited speakers for a two-day facilitated workshop for priority research development. Participants will be representative thought leaders across diverse geographic areas and disciplines. Attendees will participate in activities generated to identify the highest priorities for research in the next five years and establish a framework of goals that can be used to guide development and advancement of domestic shrimp aquaculture production. Following the workshop, the planning committee members and group discussion leaders will gather all participant input and produce a document that describes a strategic plan and priority research investment targets. Following review, the document will be published and will establish a basis for research efforts to address the most significant needs for enhancing domestic shrimp production as a nutritious, safe, and affordable food source.