All South Carolina fish farmers and others interested in learning about fish farming are encouraged to attend the 2007 South Carolina Aquaculture Association Annual Conference.

This important meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture Ramage Conference Center, Columbia State Farmers Market, 1001 Bluff Road in Columbia.

Keynote speaker, Joe Morris, associate professor of the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, will discuss the most recent information on raising bream for sale in the wholesale and retail markets. Morris serves as associate director of the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center where his focus is on teaching and research.

The South Carolina General Assembly recently passed legislation allowing bream and other freshwater game fish to be sold for human consumption under a permit system through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With over 70,000 ponds in the state, supplemental income from gamefish sales is now a real possibility.

Representatives from Clemson University and DNR will discuss recent research and the aquaculture industry in South Carolina, along with permitting regulations. Experts in various freshwater and saltwater production practices in South Carolina will also be available to answer questions.

In order for organizers to plan for the luncheon, pre-registration is strongly suggested. To pre-register, send a $10 check payable to the South Carolina Aquaculture Association to: South Carolina Aquaculture Association Annual Conference, P.O. Box 11280, Columbia, S.C. 29211.

Active membership in the South Carolina Aquaculture Association which includes membership in the National Aquaculture Association is $50 per year. Associate Membership is $25 per year, Student Membership is $5 per year, and Sustaining Membership is $100 per year. To become a member, include the appropriate membership fee with the pre-registration fee.

For more information about the 2007 South Carolina Aquaculture Association Annual Conference, or about the state’s aquaculture industry, contact Chad Truesdale, South Carolina Department of Agriculture Marketing Division, 803-734-2218, or Jack Whetstone, Clemson/Sea Grant/SC DNR, 843-546-1013 Ext. 229.