The U.S. is the second-largest consumer of seafood, yet it imports 85% of the seafood it consumes. This offers a tremendous opportunity for U.S. farmers, especially soybean farmers, as soy is an excellent feedstock for many species of fish. However, growing an industry comes with challenges.
An Ohio farmer from West Mansfield has stepped up to tackle these challenges as chairman of the national Soy Aquaculture Alliance.
“The Soy Aquaculture Alliance acts as a hub for the soy-based aquaculture research cultivating high-value soy solutions for the global aquaculture industry, growing a U.S. aquaculture industry and making U.S. soybeans one of the most utilized ingredients in fish and shrimp farming,” says Bill Bayliss, who also serves on the Ohio Soybean Council board of trustees.
“It’s a calling,” he says. “Providing people with nourishing food, supporting communities, and stewardship of natural resources is what farmers do, and I’m happy to be able to be a part of this new budding sector of the industry in the U.S.”
SAA’s board of directors is comprised of members of the soy, aquaculture and seafood industries. Since its formation in 2011, the board has focused on two primary goals: collaboration among members of the core industries it serves and facilitating essential aquaculture research.
“The opportunity for growth is there, both in the production of the fish and seafood products, as well as the soy and other feedstocks,” says Bayliss. “We are doing some great work to help that growth along so that both farmers and consumers can reap the benefits.”
To learn more about aquaculture, visit the Soy Aquaculture Alliance at soyaquaalliance.com.