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NIAA Adds Aquatic Livestock Committee

25 February 2013

US - The National Institute for Animal Agriculture has expanded its net and has added an Aquaculture/Aquatic Livestock Committee to its list of species committees. NIAA’s draft objectives statement for the newly formed Aquatic Livestock Committee underpins its purpose: “To advance sustainable aquatic livestock (aquaculture) industries, the committee will address key issues relevant to farmed aquatic animal health, well-being, seafood safety, public health and environmental concerns.”

“NIAA carries a strong legacy of providing the U.S. livestock industry with a forum to collectively address issues of common interest, and we are now expanding our endeavors to include aquaculture,” states Dr David Scarfe, Assistant Director, Scientific Activities at the American Veterinary Medical Association, and co-chair of NIAA’s Aquaculture/Aquatic Livestock Committee.

“The Aquatic Livestock Committee is a perfect fit for NIAA, as aquatic animal farming involves people producing, raising and caring for aquatic animals in controlled environments.”

Todd Low, Manager of Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Aquaculture and Livestock Support Services Program and co-chair of the new committee with Scarfe, adds that it’s exciting times for aquaculture and for NIAA which established the Aquatic Livestock Committee in 2012.

“Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of the agricultural economy,” Low states. “And, while the United States is a small producer when it comes to global aquaculture, our country is a major player as it supplies a variety of advanced technology, equipment, feed and investment to aquaculture around the world.”

In addition to NIAA’s business conference’s general sessions that will address topics such as translating agricultural advancements to the public and meeting the demand for food through the application of technology and knowledge, four aquaculture-specific presentations by leading experts are scheduled for the Aquaculture Livestock Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 16. The presentations, which are designed to stimulate this new committee to consider primary actions that can help the US industries grow and thrive, include:

  1.  Current Status of U.S. Aquaculture
  2. U.S. Aquaculture: The Past, Today and the Future
  3. Problems, Stumbling Blocks and Solutions for U.S. Aquaculture
  4. NIAA Aquatic Livestock Committee Structure and Function


The committee meeting will wrap up with a facilitated open discussion identifying issues and solutions to advance US aquaculture. Areas of discussion will address consumer acceptance of production practices, consumer hardware/equipment/technology, the future of traditional farming practices, biotechnology and national research, priorities and directions for feeding the world in 2050.

“If you are involved in aquaculture—as a producer, veterinarian, scientist, government representative, or work in allied industry, then we urge you to attend NIAA’s upcoming conference, April 15-18, in Louisville, Ky., and get involved with the Aquatic Livestock Committee from the very start,” Low states. “This is where those of us from various areas of aquaculture can come together to address timely topics such as public health and environmental concerns, seafood safety, aquatic animal health and wellbeing in a unified manner and learn from each other.”

To learn more about NIAA’s new Aquatic Livestock Committee or the organization’s April 15-18 conference in Louisville, Ky., or to become a member of the new committee, please contact NIAA at (719) 538-8847 or email NIAA at

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