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by Gary E. Karr, director, OI Communications and Education

 
Aquaculture dates to 500 B.C.E. and is a reliable method for farming aquatic animals and plants. With world population expected to grow from six billion today to between 8.9 and 10.7 billion by mid-21st century, aquaculture is a way to meet a growing demand for a low-cost and nutritious food source.

In Hawai‘i, aquaculture is an increasingly important part of the state’s diversified agriculture industry. The demise of Hawai‘i’s sugar industry, coupled with an increase in the number of terrestrial farmers who have switched to aquafarming, has helped fuel this growth. Aquaculture business models showing rates of return on investments of 30 percent or more have also spurred interest. Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment of diversified agriculture with an average growth rate of almost 10 percent per year over the past 10 years. The value of commercial aquaculture is now at $28 million per year.

MARS 3800 Practices of Saltwater Aquaculture will again be team taught by leading researchers from Oceanic Institute and HPU faculty. Students will learn basic principles of aquaculture, including water quality chemistry, microbial ecology, systems engineering, and animal nutrition. The course will illustrate how these basic principles are used in fish and crustacean culture. Additional topics include stock enhancement, seafood quality, nutraceuticals, and ornamentals. This course will most likely be offered during the spring semester and will be conducted at the OI’s Learning Center.

BIOL 4800 Ornamental Fish Aquaculture will be taught again during a summer session with many guest lecturers from both the OI and the industry. This course will enable the student to learn about what it takes to start up a marine ornamental fish business or simply be more successful with a hobby. There is a significant amount of hands-on activities in the laboratory sections of the course, which will likely be offered during summer session III with the location to be announced.

As always, internships at OI are available through various practicum classes at HPU with consent of the instructor. Students successful in the practicum course may be eligible for a more intense summer internship.

To learn more, visit www.oceanicinstitute.org.
 

 

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