Tuesday, February 12, 2013

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute: Biennial Report Features Bell Aquaculture

Quoting from the 2010-12 Biennial Report:

 "'The Wisconsin Sea Grant has been instrumental in enabling us to grow yellow perch. We have the business know-how but we would not be where we are now if Wisconsin Sea Grant technology transfer had not led the way with yellow perch aquaculture techniques that pay off. Our customers come to us for a quality food that they can share with their families or that restaurants can feature to enhance their menus. Thanks to Wisconsin Sea Grant, we can deliver. Along the way, we provide jobs, contributing to a strong local economy,' Norman D. McCowan, president, Bell Aquaculture, Redkey [and Albany], Ind....

...Yellow perch are a popular consumer food fish whose numbers in the Great Lakes have fluctuated in the last 20 years, mostly downward. Great Lakes commercial fishing for the species is restricted in all the lakes except Lake Erie, and consumers who want to support Great Lakes seafood producers have diminished options. Wisconsin Sea Grant has fueled the success of the freshwater finfish aquaculture industry to fill the gap. Staff provide technical assistance on water quality and broodstock viability to private businesses...

...At the hub of it all is the patented yellow perch propagation technique of Fred Binkowski, Sea Grant's aquaculture specialist. By manipulating light and water temperature, Binkowski convinces his fish to breed out of season which enables year-round fish production...

...Then there's Bell Aquaculture of Albany, Ind., the nation's largest yellow perch producer, shipping 1 million pounds in 2011 for a potential market value of more than $12 million wholesale and $20 million retail."

Link to the pdf of the report

Link to the Wisconsin Sea Grant website

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