VSU to host fish school

Published 10:37 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

by Michelle Olgers

Virginia State University’s Aquaculture Program will hold its annual Fish School, a 2-day event being held on July 9 and 10 at the Randolph Farm Pavilion located on 4415 River Road, Petersburg. The program begins at 8 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. both days.

Over two days, participants will receive formal instruction and do hands-on activities. They will learn about species and marketing, aquaculture nutrition, water quality and fish health, farm pond management, cage culture, aquaponics, freshwater shrimp and other fish species, and recirculating aquaculture systems.

“Aquaculture on a limited scale can be a profitable venture,” said Dr. Brian Nerrie, Extension specialist in aquaculture at VSU. “Home or farm-raised fish can easily be sold for profit at farmers markets, direct from the farm or to local restaurants. There is a huge demand for locally sourced food, including seafood.”

The American Heart Association recommends that consuming fish at least twice a week, since fish are high in protein and low in saturated fats. Global per capita fish consumption has almost doubled from the 1960s to 2012. About half of all the seafood destined for human consumption is produced through aquaculture, also called fish farming.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects that by 2030, aquaculture, one of the fastest growing methods of producing food in the world, will be responsible for almost two-thirds of the fish we eat. The FAO estimates that over 600 aquatic species are produced globally in a variety of aquaculture systems using freshwater, brackish water or salt water. Currently, over 91 percent of the seafood eaten in the U.S. is imported.

Registration for this two-day events costs $25 per person and includes lunch both days. To register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar.

MICHELLE OLGERS is with the Marketing and Communications Department at Virginia State University. Contact her at 804-524-6964 or molgers@vsu.edu.