When Florida’s commercial fishing businesses were declining, Florida Sea Grant collaborated with other entities to build a new hard clam aquaculture industry near Cedar Key, Fla. where about 80 percent of Florida’s clam farming now occurs. The industry has a statewide economic impact of over $50 million, supporting more than 550 jobs in Cedar Key alone.
In addition to supporting the clam aquaculture industry in Cedar Key, Florida Sea Grant researchers are working on a new aquaculture opportunity–baitfish. Baitfish may provide the potential for expansion and diversification of aquaculture within the state, thanks to Florida’s multimillion dollar recreational fishing industry.
Florida Sea Grant extension agents offer aquaculture workshops periodically and are an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to dive into aquaculture.