Officials from Michigan and China plan to work together on developing advancements in fisheries and aquaculture.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development last week in Lansing hosted a delegation from the province of Jiangsu.
From the MDARD press release:
The goal of the delegation was to learn more about Michigan’s aquaculture industry along with agreeing upon a shared commitment to foster mutual understanding and opportunities between Michigan and the Jiangsu Province.
The trip follows a 2013 visit to China by Michigan officials.
Director Clover Adams and Deputy Commissioner Xia Qianbao of the Ocean & Fisheries Bureau from the Jiangsu Province signed a Memorandum of Understanding "to establish a long-term partnership to work cooperatively on fisheries and aquaculture advancements."
In the press release, Clover stated that:
“I am excited about this partnership between Michigan and the Jiangsu Province. By working together, we can build a better understanding of one another’s culture, and learn from each other to grow a more robust food and agriculture partnership.”
As we reported back in August, Michigan has experienced a significant increase in state aquaculture over the past year due to expansions in permits of companies such as the Grayling Fish Hatchery.
Some individuals, like Harrietta Hills Trout Farm owner Dan Vogler, strongly support the growth of the fish-farming industry. As he explained to Michigan Radio:
"We import 91% of the seafood that we eat in the United States. We are a state that sits in the middle of 20% of the world's fresh water supply and we have an opportunity to use that resource in a wise fashion to produce food."
Others are skeptical that aquaculture development will be beneficial to the local community. According to the Michigan Sea Grant, common concerns over aquaculture include water pollution, fish disease, unintended introduction of non-native species, effects on wild species and food safety.