2019 Beaches Conference Concurrent 3 Long Description – Aquaculture Engagement
Aquaculture Engagement Round Table
Aquaculture represents an increasingly significant share of the global supply of freshwater and marine resources. Worldwide aquaculture production for human consumption now accounts for 44% of fish supply and is expected to surpass wild-caught fish capture by 2025. Maine is arguably becoming one of the ‘hotspots’ of aquaculture development in the United States with economic outputs nearly tripling in the last decade and new development projects underway. Such growth represents a major economic opportunity for Maine. However, it also raises critically important questions about the long-term trajectory of the sector and the extent to which coastal communities (including fishermen, landowners, municipalities, etc.) are positioned to harness aquaculture’s potential in ways that create direct and sustained benefits for them in the long-term. Within this context, the Sustainable Aquaculture Working Group is committed to developing an open, deliberate, science-based, and replicable process of engagement with coastal community members – including members of the aquaculture industry – that helps managers, policymakers, and stakeholders alike develop long-term strategies for sustainable aquaculture in coastal waters in Maine. We will provide an overview of aquaculture in Maine and this work and then facilitate a discussion with attendees about their vision for coastal communities and the opportunity (or not) to integrate aquaculture.