Baitfish grown in many states in the North Central Region (NCR) contribute significantly to aquaculture in the region. Each year priority research areas are identified by the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) Industry Advisory Council and presented in consultation with the Technical Committee to the NCRAC Board of Directors. Concern has emanated from among the various NCRAC constituencies that network plans could potentially lose focus over time and not always address the most critical factors limiting the economical and sustainable production of important species in the region. After discussions were held among members of the various committees and the Board at its 1999 annual meeting, it was decided that a white paper should be developed on baitfish. The Board directed that the paper not be an exhaustive literature review, but rather a working document that clearly defines the current status of baitfish aquaculture, critical factors limiting its economical and sustainable commercial production, and recommendations concerning the research that should be considered in future work plans. It is recognized that this will be a “living document” in that priorities may change based on new developments, new problems encountered, or other externalities. Industry participation and peer reviews are critical components of the process.
Michigan State University