North Carolina Sea Grant
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News Releases

January 22, 2015 | Katie Mosher


John Aydlett, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, 252-331-4773,
Cathy Smith, North Carolina State University, 919-515-6780,

Posted Thursday, January 22, 2015

North Carolina Sea Grant is among the partners presenting the N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference.

More than 200 fish farmers, scientists and industry newcomers from across the Southeast will gather at the North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference Feb. 25 to 28 to discuss research and current marketing trends for farm-raised fish and seafood.

The conference theme, Navigating Currents of Change, focuses the industry’s role in emerging consumer markets. The keynote speaker will be Mike Freeze, president of the National Aquaculture Association. Freeze is co-owner of Keo Fish Farm, Inc. in Arkansas, the largest hybrid striped bass hatchery in the world. The business also is one of the largest triploid grass carp producers in the United States. His talk will share success and pitfalls in his 30 years as a private aquaculture producer.

North Carolina Sea Grant is among the sponsors, and the program will include presentations by Chuck Weirich, marine aquaculture specialist, and Barry Nash, seafood technology and marketing specialist. Other speakers include Sea Grant-funded researchers and industry demonstration partners.

A pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 25 will focus on aquaponics, which combines the use of recirculating aquaculture systems with the production of plants without soil. The conference program opens with tours of fish farms and facilities on Thursday, Feb. 26. General presentations and the popular AquaFood Fest, featuring ample quantities of the state’s finest farm-raised fish and shellfish, will be held Friday, Feb. 27. The agenda concludes Saturday, Feb. 28 with concurrent workshops on the resources available to succeed in freshwater and marine aquaculture.

The conference will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront at 100 Middle Street in New Bern. Registration and event details are available at For additional questions, email Cathy Smith at

The conference is sponsored & supported by the following agencies:


North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast

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