Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative

Trout being tossed from a hand-held net into an aquaculture pond.
Trout being tossed into an aquaculture pond. Image credit: ©Damian Horațiu Sultănoiu. stock.adobe.com

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) is a three-year (2019-2022) federally funded project that seeks to create a regionwide group to foster relevant, science-based initiatives that support aquaculture industries in the Great Lakes region that are environmentally responsible, competitive, and sustainable.

Project website

Target audiences for this project include aquaculture producers, consumers, and fish/seafood marketers in Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois-Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York. 

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What is aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms in both coastal and inland areas involving interventions in the rearing process to enhance production.

Sustainable aquaculture is the ability to raise and harvest food-fish without degrading or depleting the environment, in a manner that is economically competitive, and in a manner that can be sustained indefinitely.  

Responsibly managed aquaculture can provide growers with a livelihood and produce a nutrient-rich protein source that can help feed the world while not negatively affecting the environment. 

Project description

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative seeks to help Great Lakes region food-fish farmers develop businesses that are:

  • Economic Sustainability means that a food-fish business is economically viable indefinitely or for a prolonged period of time.
  • Environmental Sustainability means that a food-fish business actively protects the environment. This includes an operation that does not release pollutants, does not deplete or destroy natural resources, and does not (un)intentionally introduce fish or pathogens or other species into public and other waters.
  • Social Sustainability means that food-fish businesses are good neighbors and actively contribute to the health and well-being of their communities. This includes fair wages, safe working conditions, and workforce diversity.

Why aquaculture? Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food sectors worldwide. Although people have cultivated aquatic species for thousands of years it was not until relatively recently that farm-raised products accounted for more than 50% of seafood consumed by people. When the volume of wild-caught fish began to level off in the late 1980s, aquaculture was seen as a means of fulfilling a need for protein. The aquaculture industry continues to grow as the need for protein increases and as people seek safe, local, and sustainable food systems to provide food for a global population that is estimated to reach nine billion people by 2050.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative supports Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. The project’s primary goal is to provide relevant, science-based initiatives that support an environmentally responsible, competitive, and sustainable aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region.

What have we done lately?

  • The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative has a dedicated website with current GLAC events, advisory group members, research summaries, presentation recordings, and more.
  • Host of Great Lakes Aquaculture Days 2021, an event for those interested in aquaculture, and its products, to learn more.

Participants & audience

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) serves aquaculture businesses and fish farmers throughout the Great Lakes through mass media, targeted communications, email lists, and state advisory groups. Target audiences for this project include aquaculture producers, consumers, and fish/seafood marketers in Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois-Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York. Details are on the GLAC website

Aquaculture resources

Funding

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative is funded by a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Sea Grant Office.


Program Staff

Blond woman with mountains in the background
Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educator
Don Schreiner headshot
Fisheries Specialist
Communication Manager

Program News

Duluth, Minnesota - Great Lakes states are not keeping pace with increases in consumer demand for fish and seafood, which is contributing to a

Partners

  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Michigan Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Michigan State University, Academic Institution (College and University)
  • Loyola University, Academic Institution (College and University)
  • New York Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Ohio Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs