Welcome to UMass Extension Aquaculture Program
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Media plays an enormous role in today’s society. It has played an immense role in shaping people’s perceptions of aquaculture. Students in NRC597SA learn about the power of media by addressing a specific need within aquaculture – the development of instructional video content for small-scale practitioners. A plethora of high quality instructional content already exists in the form of technical manuals produced by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
In 2013, a group of Ugandan entrepreneurship students with an interest in aquaculture visited regionally relevant sites in their own country with Dr. James Webb. Students had an opportunity to visit fisheries landing sites and talk to fisherman whose lives have changed on account of depleted wild stocks. They also visited farms from smallholder to commercial size, the National Aquaculture Center at Kajansi, Uganda’s only aquarium retail shop, a fish processing and export center, and the Bujugali dam site.
Although Uganda was once a center of wild fisheries export, things have changed and the country's wild fisheries are nearly deplete. However, with some of the largest tropical freshwater resources in the world, an excellent climate for agriculture, and native fish species amenable to farming like the tilapia, Uganda has enormous potential for aquaculture. A major bottleneck to enhancing the local aquaculture industry is education. UMass aquaculture is contributing to Ugandan aquaculture through the development of regionally relevant educational programs and technologies.
NRC597SA is a senior level online course offered online through the Sustainable Food and Farming program and the Continuing and Professional Education program at UMass. The course explores concepts in sustainable aquaculture such as species and system selection in a manner accepting the limitations placed on small-scale fish producers in Massachusetts and New England. In line with these limitations, the course focuses heavily on land-based recirculating aquaculture systems and their potential for use within the region's aquaculture industry.