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International Aquaculture Symposium Draws Fish Nutrition Experts to Idaho

May 24, 2016

The University of Idaho will host fish nutrition researchers, scholars and industry leaders from more than 35 countries at the International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding Monday through Friday, June 6-10, at the Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum.

More than 350 people are expected to attend the symposium, the first to be hosted in the United States in 20 years. Ron Hardy, conference chair and director of UI’s Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI), said the symposium’s theme is alternative feeds for aquaculture. Farmed fish have traditionally been fed feeds containing fishmeal, which is produced from non-edible fish such as menhaden, but it’s a finite resource. The global aquaculture industry already consumes nearly 75 percent of annual fishmeal production.

“The big conversation in the aquaculture world is how do we go forward and make feeds that will allow aquaculture production to grow in a sustainable fashion?” Hardy said. “That’s a challenge facing aquaculture in Idaho and everywhere else.”

Idaho produces more than 70 percent of the United States’ farmed trout, and Idaho’s aquaculture industry generates $100 million annually. ARI’s primary research project at the Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station in south-central Idaho is to develop trout strains through selective breeding that thrive on all-plant-protein feeds.

Hardy said hosting the event allows UI to increase ARI’s international visibility, expose potential students and faculty members to the university’s aquaculture programs and make connections with industry partners. UI faculty, staff and students affiliated with ARI in Hagerman and Moscow will participate in the symposium.

UI President Chuck Staben will speak at the symposium’s opening ceremonies on June 6. Other featured speakers include John Rawls of Duke University, an expert on the gut microbiome; Sachi Kaushik, a European Union leader in fish nutrition; Tim O’Keefe, an international fish feed industry consultant who will speak about the challenges facing aquaculture in developing countries; and Jose Villalon of Skretting, the world’s largest fish feed producer, who will speak about fish nutrition research needs for the commercial sector.

Media Contact:
Ron Hardy
University of Idaho Aquaculture Research Institute

Tara Roberts
University Communications

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at