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Aquaculture is the general term used to describe the breeding and rearing of aquatic animals and plants in controlled or selected environments. Aquaculture can provide fish for:

  • bait
  • ornamental use
  • stocking and
  • food for other fish or people

It can also reduce dependence on wild harvested populations.

Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Region has not met expectations because of problems associated with climate, production technologies, selecting appropriate species, marketing, competition from outside the region, and business planning.

Aquaculture can also have negative environmental impacts from effluent release, escape of culture organisms, use of natural waters, disease, invasive species spread, and from genetically modified organisms. One of Sea Grant’s challenges is to develop and promote environmentally acceptable and economically viable aquaculture techniques, especially for the Great Lakes Region.

Featured Content

Federal Order about Fish Virus Disrupts Industry, Agencies, and Anglers
Fish management and fish farming in the Great Lakes has received a significant one-two punch.
Fish Farming – Is it for You?
If you are considering fish farming, this checklist can help you determine whether a fish farming enterprise is feasible for your particular situation.
Choosing an Organizational Structure for Your Aquaculture Business
There are approximately 2.3 million farms in the United States, regardless of size, all farms are a form of business and can be organized or structured in several ways.
Walleye Culture in Minnesota
Walleye is indisputably the king fish of the north. No other species elicits as much passion from the avid angler, or is more sought after.
Crayfish Aquaculture Demonstration in Minnesota Rice Paddies
Crayfish culture is the largest aquaculture industry in the United States in acreage, and is second only to catfish in total production.

Featured Initiatives

Redtail Chub Aquaculture PotentialRedtail Chub Aquaculture Potential
The redtail chub is one of the most valuable baitfish species in Minnesota. Developing an economically viable aquaculture system for hornyhead chubs could relieve pressure on wild populations while keeping the market adequately supplied with this desirable bait. We explored the aquaculture potential of this species.
Aquatic Invasive Species – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (AIS-HACCP) is a method to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species via aquaculture, fish stocking, wild baitfish harvest and resource management, research, and enforcement activities.

See Also

AudioAquaculture Audio
Collection of aquaculture audio.
VideoAquaculture Videos
Collection of aquaculture videos.
More information on fish, fishing, fish preparation and health issues related to eating fish.



Don Schreiner
Fisheries Specialist

This page last modified on May 18, 2017     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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