Fish farming is catching on in North Carolina

by | Jan 20, 2016

Randy Gray of Circle G Farms leads attendees on a tour of the Pikeville tilapia farm during the 2015 N.C. Aquauculture Development Conference.

Randy Gray of Circle G Farms leads attendees on a tour of the Pikeville tilapia farm during the 2015 N.C. Aquauculture Development Conference.

Aquaculture, or commercial fish production, is one of several aspects of the state‚Äôs diverse $76-billion agriculture industry. From trout and tilapia to catfish and clams, aquaculture has been growing steadily in recent years and now contributes more than $58 million to the state’s economy.

In February, the aquaculture industry will meet in New Bern for the annual N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference. This conference is designed to bring together current and prospective fish farmers, scientists and regulatory agencies to share information about the development of aquaculture in North Carolina. The general public is also welcome to attend to learn more about the industry.

Meetings will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton in New Bern Feb. 12 and 13. A self-guided field tour is scheduled for Feb. 11. During the tour, attendees can visit a variety of freshwater and saltwater aquaculture farms and learn about various operations along the coast.

The conference includes a trade show featuring dozens of vendors selling state-of-the-art equipment and aquaculture supplies. In addition, the ever-popular Aquafoods Festival on Friday night includes a smorgasbord of local farm-raised fish and seafood.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is one of the sponsors of the N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference.

Online registration and hotel information are available at www.ncaquaculture.org.