SAA is bringing together soy, aquaculture and seafood stakeholders to enhance their own businesses and industries as well as give consumers access to affordable, healthy seafood. With consumption of seafood expected to increase in the next decade, soy-based feeds are an alternative to a flat supply of fish meal currently being used as a protein source in fish diets. The U.S. soybean industry has already been at the forefront of developing new aquaculture feed sources, and Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) is focused on meeting the demand.
With consumption of seafood expected to increase in the next decade, soy-based feeds are an alternative to a flat supply of fish meal currently being used as a protein source in fish diets. The U.S. soybean industry has already been at the forefront of developing new aquaculture feed sources, and Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) is focused on meeting the demand.
Through affiliations with the United Soybean Board (USB) and multiple state soybean checkoff organizations, SAA will work to fund programs and research that increases the utilization of U.S. soybeans in the diets of fish and shrimp.
“The time is now for U.S. domestic aquaculture production,” according to Dr. Steve Hart, executive director of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance. “The U.S. is the second largest consumer of seafood in the world behind China; however, we import 85 percent of our seafood. We feel that the time is right for the Soy Aquaculture Alliance to work together with the U.S. seafood industry to see what can be done to help grow U.S. domestic aquaculture production.”
Dr. Hart served as the director of ISA’s aquaculture initiative since 2007. Several state soybean checkoff organizations, as well as the USB, have funded aquaculture programs in the past and the formation of SAA allows the soybean industry to better coordinate its efforts in the area of domestic aquaculture. The alliance will ensure that U.S. soybean checkoff investments in the domestic aquaculture industry will maximize long-term return on investment for soybean farmers.
“With some exceptions, the standard model for much of the production throughout the world has been smaller farms that haven’t allowed for efficiencies of scale. “ according to Hart. “We believe the U.S. soybean industry can be a valuable resource to the aquaculture industry by providing sustainable, plant-based feeds to allow for continued growth, especially here in the U.S.”
“We’re putting U.S. grown soybeans in U.S. grown seafood right on U.S. family’s dinner plates.” says Duane Dahlman, chairman of the SAA board of directors. “The U.S. aquaculture industry is small, but growing. We’re gaining notoriety and providing business opportunities for entrepreneurs and producers looking to expand output.”
“I see the organization’s purpose as supporting the industry’s growth through research and specific programs as well as helping producers educate consumers about our products and the benefits to them and their family,” says Norman McCowan, president and CEO of Bell Aquaculture. “We have a great relation with the SAA. They have a real passion for aquaculture and developing more aquaculture here in America. And we see that as a great thing because we know soybean is the single largest source of protein for our fish we feed.”
The Soy Aquaculture Alliance is committed to building partnerships for abundant, healthy, homegrown seafood by connecting industry stakeholders and supporting practical industry research. SAA is governed by a volunteer board representing U.S. soybean farmers and the aquaculture industry. Membership is open to Qualified State Soybean Boards and public and private entities in the soy, aquaculture and seafood industries.
Our mission statement provides Soy Aquaculture Alliance with purpose and strategic direction for our day-to-day activities. In short, this is “what we do” as an organization:
“Building partnerships for abundant, healthy, homegrown seafood.”
SAA’s mission is driven by its board of directors, comprised of members from the soy, aquaculture and seafood industries. Since SAA’s formation in October 2011, the board has focused on two primary goals: collaboration among members of the core industries it serves and facilitating essential aquaculture research.
To promote collaboration and connect the supply and demand sides of its mission, SAA is bringing together engaged soy, aquaculture and seafood stakeholders and guiding them in collaborations designed to enhance their own businesses, as well as benefit their industries.
To further its goal to encourage needed research, last year SAA released its first request for research proposals, which culminated in one-year funding for research initiatives in key areas.