With continued human pressure on marine fisheries and ocean resources, aquaculture has become a promising technology to increase marine fish production in the future. Specifically in the United States, Atlantic salmon is commonly farmed in both the states of Maine and Washington. The review below synthesizes some of the economic impacts resulting from aquaculture in the two states:
Aquaculture in Maine produces finfish, shellfish and sea vegetables, but salmon farming comprises 86% of the aquaculture industry’s total value. In terms of the value of seafood products to the state, Atlantic salmon is second to lobster (10).
The figure below shows data from the state’s Finfish Aquaculture Monitoring Program (FAMP), collected monthly, on the total production and value of farmed Atlantic salmon. In 2010, the state produced about 25 million pounds of Atlantic salmon, valued at about $55 million USD.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, research to develop net pen aquaculture was being conducted. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) conducted some of the preliminary research in Puget Sound near Manchester, Washington. Since that time, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) have been commercially reared in marine net pens in the state of Washington. Today, almost all of the commercial marine net pen industry in Washington produces Atlantic salmon (1)
Over ten million pounds of salmon are produced each year. In 2001, 16.7 million pounds of Atlantic salmon were produced in Washington. The total economic contribution of the production of Atlantic salmon from aquaculture is valued over $40 million USD annually (1).