Michigan Seafood Summit to be held in Traverse City

Michigan produces fish for the consumer from both aquaculture and the Great Lakes commercial fishery.

The menu of the five-course meal at the 2015 Seafood Summit featured a delicious roundup of dishes. In 2016, the summit will be in Traverse City. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

The menu of the five-course meal at the 2015 Seafood Summit featured a delicious roundup of dishes. In 2016, the summit will be in Traverse City. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

To help promote Michigan fish producers Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension are hosting the Michigan Seafood Summit at the Hagerty Conference Center in Traverse City on Friday, April 8, 2016. The Michigan Seafood Summit will be centered on promoting and discussing aquaculture, commercial fisheries, and local seafood in Michigan. One highlight will be a special Michigan seafood dinner prepared by renowned chefs from around the state.

Most consumers don’t realize that more than ninety percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported. More consumers are becoming concerned about buying locally produced food products in order to know where their food comes from and be more certain about its quality. In Michigan, farm-raised fish as well as wild-caught Great Lakes fish are available.

Most farm-raised fish in Michigan is rainbow trout. Lake whitefish is the most caught commercial fish in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. Great Lakes whitefish from Michigan’s highly managed fisheries is caught by family-based operations and processed locally, making it an important local economic component for coastal communities.

This year’s Seafood Summit will have two sessions. The morning session, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 8, is directed at those involved or wanting to become involved with producing fish in Michigan. Topics will include seafood sales at farmers markets, the status of permitting for aquaculture, and Michigan seafood and the Pure Michigan campaign. The afternoon session, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., will be geared toward the general public and will cover such topics as net-pen aquaculture, trout culture, the future of Michigan seafood, and Lake Michigan fishery trends. Dr. Ted Batterson, professor emeritus at Michigan State University and former director of the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, will deliver the keynote address. The event culminates with a dinner featuring Michigan seafood prepared by chefs and students from the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. The summit presentations (agenda online) are free to attend, but online registration is required. The dinner will be 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and tickets are $50. Register online by April 1 to reserve your spot.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.