Linda Benedict | 4/14/2009 8:31:12 PM
The Aquaculture Research Station is one of 20 branch stations of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. The facility, which includes more than 200 fish culture tanks, a fish hatchery, an aquaculture greenhouse and a 22,000 square-foot aquaculture research laboratory, is three miles south of the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. The facility also includes 146 earthen ponds, ranging in size from 17 acres to 0.1 acre, that cover 100 surface acres of water. Crawfish aquaculture research is conducted at the Rice Research Station at Crowley in 55 earthen ponds with supporting laboratories. Other research programs are routinely conducted at commercial aquaculture farms. Aquaculture research is also part of there search program in seven academic departments including the School of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries; School of Veterinary Medicine; and the departments of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Food Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Veterinary Science.
Funding for aquaculture research comes from state and federal appropriations, state commodity boards such as the Louisiana Crawfish and Louisiana Catfish promotion and research boards, federal and state agencies, the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center and private sector grants and contracts.
To support aquaculture research, the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service has two statewide aquaculture specialists and 10 area aquaculture and fisheries agents. The School of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Veterinary Science have excellent laboratories to support research on aquatic animal diseases, and the school houses the Aquatic Animal Diagnostics Laboratory, a unit which provides disease treatment recommendations to the state’s aquaculture producers at no charge. The Muscles Food Laboratory and the Agricultural Chemistry and Food Science departments support research on seafood safety and development of value-added products.
(This article was published in the fall 1999 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)