Taking Aquaculture in Michigan (AIM) to the future: a “Roadmap” for the aquaculture sector to understand the underlying regulatory framework for operation expansion and new farm enterprise development.
The State of Michigan enjoys abundant water resources and a diverse agricultural base, including an aquaculture sector poised for expansion in response to the opportunities from the domestic seafood market. While in the past Michigan aquaculture has focused on bait, pond stocking, and fee fishing, there is now opportunity for growth in producing fish for human consumption.
By the year 2050, the world will need twice as much food – and four times as much protein. The USA currently imports approximately $11 billion worth of seafood, much of which comes from Southeast Asia. That quadrant of the world has over half of the world’s population and, as more of these people enter the middle class, their local demand for protein will place increasing pressure on the supply coming to America. Furthermore, the American people have an increasing desire to know the source of their food, for reasons including food safety, local-sourcing preferences, and freshness – perceived or real. Consequently, Michigan, along with the broader Great Lakes region, has both an opportunity and a responsibility to leverage its water, land, skills, and stewardship resources (including proper regulation) to promote a thriving aquaculture economy that maintains a healthy ecosystem and provides the benefits of jobs and good nutrition.
For those seeking to build new facilities or expand existing infrastructure in Michigan, the Aquaculture Industry Committee (an ad hoc industry group comprised of producer, regulator, trade association, university, and extension personnel) Request for Proposal identified the need for a “How-to-Guide” as a “Roadmap” to navigate through the various regulations pertaining to aquaculture. This Roadmap will serve as a valuable resource to the private, public, and tribal facilities that hope to understand the regulatory situation in Michigan.
The Michigan Aquaculture Association’s (MAA) current strategic plan proposes that Michigan’s aquaculture sector can grow from $5 million annually with 100 direct jobs to over $100 million with 1,500 direct jobs.1 In its 150-year history, the Michigan aquaculture sector has a track record of sound management in environmental practices and safety, with no invasive species released.2 In this context, there is clearly great opportunity to realize this $100 million opportunity.
Download the full document: Aquaculture In Michigan Roadmap Through Regulation