Aquaculture is defined as the culture of aquatic organisms under controlled conditions. Culture species range from fish and crustaceans to reptiles and amphibians and include algae and aquatic plants. Products from aquaculture are sold for food, sport, bait and feeders, ornamentals, conservation and restoration, aquatic weed control, and even for leather (alligator hides). Species are most often raised in ponds, but culture systems include cages, raceways, and recirculating systems. Communities of interest range from commercial producers to owners of farm ponds used for recreational fishing and family food as well as teachers, students, and county Cooperative Extension faculty.
As we implement our plan to establish a single Freshwater Aquaculture Community of Practice, we recognize the challenges presented by the diversity of crops, markets, culture systems, and communities of interest. This is a diversity that we as individuals face in our daily work as we develop programs and respond to inquiries. By working together as a Community of Practice, we can share our knowledge, resources, and experiences to help us all better meet the challenges of supplying essential research-based information on a broad range of topics to diverse audiences.