The 2006 North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference and Trade Show will be held Jan. 13 and 14 at the Hilton Greenville in Greenville, featuring workshops and presentations on the latest local and national issues affecting aquaculture.

The conference is open to anyone interested in fish or shellfish farming, including prospective growers, researchers, teachers, students or government officials with jobs related to aquaculture.

The conference kicks off on Friday with a trade show and presentations on state and national industry and research updates, federal health programs, catfish production practices, new stress detection tools, product quality measurement methods and more.

The day’s keynote speaker will be Bob Sullivan of Plitt Seafood Company in Woodstock, Ill., who will discuss production and consumer trends from a national perspective.

Friday night is capped by a social hour and the annual AquaFood Festival, featuring a seafood buffet of North Carolina farm-raised aquaculture products.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the conference will sponsor four concurrent workshops on multiple species culture, aquaculture education, shellfish/soft shell crab production and new developments in warm water aquaculture.

The conference ends Saturday afternoon with a self-guided tour of Eastern North Carolina fish farms. Farm managers and North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service agents will be present to answer questions from participants.

Event sponsors include Carolina Catfish Inc., Aquatic Ecosystems, Progress Energy, North Carolina Aquaculture Association, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Sea Grant Program, North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Society and North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The cost for the conference is $95 per person and includes the all-you-can-eat AquaFood Festival. Cost to attend the festival only is $35. Student registration is available for $45. For conference information and to register, visit www.ncaquaculture.org.