Michigan Seafood Summit to highlight aquaculture, commercial fisheries, local seafood

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

Michigan commercial fish retail operation selling locally produced Great Lakes fish. Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Michigan commercial fish retail operation selling locally produced Great Lakes fish. Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Most consumers are unaware that more than 90 percent of the seafood that is consumed in the United States is imported. There is growing consumer interest, however, in purchasing locally produced food products as consumers want to know where their food is coming from. Michigan has healthy industries featuring both farm-raised fish as well as wild-caught Great Lakes fish.

Most of the farm-raised fish in Michigan is rainbow trout. These trout farms are operated by Michigan families. The lake whitefish is the most caught commercial fish in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. Today, the Great Lakes commercial fishery for lake whitefish is managed for sustainability with most of these fish caught from Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Great Lakes whitefish from Michigan’s highly managed fisheries is caught by small, family-based operations and processed locally making it an important economic component to local coastal communities.

To help support and educate Michigan-based fish producers, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension are hosting a Michigan Seafood Summit at the Kellogg Conference Center at MSU on March 12, 2015. The Michigan Seafood Summit will be centered on promoting and discussing aquaculture, commercial fisheries, and local seafood in Michigan. The summit will consist of two main sessions and a special Michigan seafood dinner prepared by renowned chefs from around the state. The summit will coincide with MSU’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Week.

The morning session of the Michigan Seafood Summit will have presentations directed at those involved or wanting to become involved with producing fish in Michigan. The afternoon session will be more geared toward the general public and will cover such topics as the health benefits of seafood and its sustainability. At the end of the day the event will end with a dinner featuring Michigan seafood.

More information on the Michigan Seafood Summit can be found at www.miseagrant.umich.edu/seafoodsummit.