Aquaculture Research Corporation (ARC) is a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the development of a large scale aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes Region.

Global farming of seafood is an important source of protein throughout the world.  The United States imports over 90% of our seafood, global consumption is rising, and wild fisheries are static or depleting.  If seafood is to remain fresh, affordable, and healthy, it is becoming increasingly important for the US to expand aquaculture.  Despite this obvious imperative, US aquaculture is declining and consumption is decreasing.  Recent USDA guidelines recommend 32.5lb per person annually of seafood consumption, yet the average American only consumes 14.3lb/yr and the rest of the world consumes an average of 42lbs/yr

With 20% of the world’s surface fresh water, the Great Lakes are an obvious place to consider developing an aquaculture industry.  We believe it is the responsibility of Great Lake’s citizens to understand how our waters can sustainably contribute to the economic and the environmental development of this special resource.  With a strong legal and regulatory framework, renowned research institutions, and leading environmental protection organizations, the Great Lakes can lead the world in demonstrating responsible development practices.

Since 2008, ARC has been focused on the potential to expand Michigan’s role as a leader in aquaculture stewardship.  Initially providing grants to improve closed-containment, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), we have since identified a broad array of challenges to development.  In order to overcome those challenges, we have recommended a systematic approach to building a large scale industry, which will form the backbone of a cluster of seafood enterprises.  Seafood is an excellent addition to the local farm to table movement and small enterprises will thrive as large enterprises expand the local supply chain.

Growing Michigan aquaculture will provide fresh, affordable, and healthy local seafood, increase the economic potential of the Great Lakes, and demonstrate to the world a balanced regulatory approach that provides productive and sustainable use of our fresh waters.