n July 2019 OAA received a High Impact Opportunity Project (HIOPS) grant funded through Business Oregon to develop the “Oregon Aquaculture Explorer Platform.” The purpose of this 18-month support is to develop a set of web-based tools to assist investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders in navigating questions concerning investing in new or expanded sustainable aquaculture ventures.
While aquaculture is becoming increasingly important around the world, the United States continues to import more than 80% of its seafood while the Oregon aquaculture program has actually declined in recent years in terms of number of economic actors (USDA, 2013).
Nonetheless, with rapidly changing technologies and economies, Oregon has an opportunity for expanded aquacultural investment leading to increased high-quality (local) food supply, job creation, revenue. and innovation. This project seeks to facilitate these changes. The project represents a collaboration between OAA, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Institute for Natural Resources, OSU Libraries & Press, VertueLab, Oregon Sea Grant, OSU Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, and Pacific Seafood. Project leader is John Moehl, Aquaculture Specialist, a native Oregonian with over four decades of experience in aquaculture development.
The project has two main outputs: developing the Oregon Aquaculture Explorer Platform with its accompanying toolbox and then elaborating case studies demonstrating the use and practicability of these instruments. These web-based results will be complemented by a significant body of selected reference and educational materials useful to those interested in Oregon aquaculture. To initiate work and prompt collaboration with key colleagues, OAA and project staff are meeting with public agencies and private parties to ensure a holistic and integrated approach as the project moves forward.