PIKETON, Ohio – Ohio needs more fish farmers, and researchers at the Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development are working to meet that need.
The center will offer a daylong introductory workshop on aquaculture and aquaponics Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The workshop, which will be held at The Ohio State University South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon, is designed to offer participants insight into what aquaculture is and how to get started in it, said Matthew Smith, an Ohio State University Extension aquaculture specialist.
Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing and harvesting of aquatic plants and animals in a natural or controlled environment, Smith said.
“Aquaponics is usually a coupled system in which there is a marriage of two systems – aquaculture and hydroponics,” he said. “Nutrient-rich fish wastewater fertilizes plants contained in a soilless environment.”
The workshop will offer participants classroom instruction and tours of the center’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), 16 ponds and an educational aquaponic system.
Classroom topics will cover:
Fish and plant selection for aquaponics
Introduction to pond and RAS
Business planning for new aquaculture/aquaponics ventures
Water quality management
“By attending this workshop, participants can see three types of operating production systems in one place, which is very rare to find,” Smith said. “Plus you are learning from experienced farmers and experts in the field, which could save a new producer from making costly mistakes.”
The workshop is presented by the Ohio Aquaculture Association, Ohio’s trade association for aquaculture and aquaponic producers, in partnership with OSU Extension and OSU South Centers. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The South Centers also are part of the college.
Workshop presenters will include current aquaculture producers, industry specialists, business professionals, and OSU Extension educators and researchers.
Registration is $45 per person or $75 for two people from the same farm, business or family. It includes all materials, refreshments and lunch. To register, go to ohioaquaculture.org/events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-604-8823.
The deadline to register is Oct. 25.
Matthew A. Smith
740-289-2071, ext. 121