Faster-Growing Yellow Perch Could Make Aquaculture More Viable
Article By: Stacy Brannan, Published: March 1, 2010
Only increasing the profit margin for farmers will allow them to compete with the millions of pounds of yellow perch harvested from Lake Erie each year. It is worth the effort, however, to ensure that wild yellow perch populations remain sustainable, particularly as demand for fish as a lean protein increases along with the ever-growing human population.
The next step for Wang's fish will be to test them on a commercial scale. "Our study so far has been at an experimental scale," he says. "We need to test it at an industrial scale, so we have recruited four farms-two in Ohio and two in Wisconsin-to test the new fish from 2011 to 2013."
If the trial-run farmers do see yellow perch that reach market size more quickly, the number of farms growing yellow perch for food could rise substantially in the next several years. A well-managed commercial pond in Ohio, ranging from a quarter to a half acre in size, can produce between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds of yellow perch per acre, yielding a potential 2,500 to 5,000 perch per pond.
To read more about this Ohio Sea Grant-funded research, visit http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/_documents/twineline/v32i1.pdf
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