The soybean-checkoff-funded U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) launched a revamped website for its global aquaculture program at www.soyaqua.org to communicate the benefits of soy in aquaculture feeds to both consumers and the global seafood industry.
The new website, partially funded by the United Soybean Board (USB)/soybean checkoff, shows how U.S. soybean farmers and the U.S. soy industry help make aquaculture more sustainable around the world with soy-based feeds, as an alternative to wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil.
"Global aquaculture production has been growing 9 percent annually since 1970 and offers great profit potential for U.S. soybean farmers," says Roy Bardole, vice chair of USB's international marketing program and a soybean farmer from Rippey, Iowa. "The new checkoff-funded website will serve as an excellent resource for everyone in the aquaculture value chain to learn about the benefits of utilizing soybean meal in fish feed formulas," says Bardole, who also serves as USSEC chairman.
Representatives of the global aquaculture sector will find information at www.soyaqua.org about soy products available for aquafeeds, feeding demonstration reports, and technical information and research results. The website also serves as a resource for consumers, chefs and retailers to learn why soy-fed fish are a healthful, sustainable, and environmentally-sound solution to the growing global demand for nutritious seafood.
"Most people don't know that the U.S. soybean industry has one of the largest aquaculture programs in the world," says Michael Cremer, technical director of USSEC's aquaculture program. "We work with aquaculture-producing countries to develop sustainable production technologies and feeds, and on food safety issues. We have been successful in developing sustainable soy-based feeds for most of the major production species around the world."
With an increasing global demand for seafood and a dwindling supply of wild-caught fish used for fish feed, the aquaculture sector needs alternative sources of protein. Checkoff-funded research shows soy-based feeds are rich in the proteins and nutrients that grow fish safely and efficiently, without adversely affecting taste and quality. Soy-based feeds reduce pressure on the available supply of wild-caught fish at the bottom of the ocean food chain, and at the top of the ocean food chain by increasing the supply of healthy, sustainable farm-raised fish and seafood for human consumption.
About USSEC -- The U.S. Soybean Export Council connects U.S. soybean farmers with opportunities to improve human nutrition, livestock production and aquaculture. This mission is accomplished with a science-based technical foundation and a global network of partnerships including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusiness and agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies. USSEC operates internationally and works with aquaculture programs in different nations to help ensure sustainability and profitability for industry producers.
USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.
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