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Ethnic Live Seafood Market Study
U.S. Sea Clam Meal as an Aquafeed Ingredient

Organic Aquaculture Project

Aquaculture: One of the fastest growing segments of production agriculture in the United States.

Organic Foods: Organic food sales, growing at about 20% per year, is the fastest growing food sector in the USA. View the Organic Trade Association 's Industry Statistics page:

In 2004, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Service, and the Organic Aquaculture National Advisory Committee, was awarded $61,000 by the USDA -- FSMIP Program to identify, evaluate and quantify market opportunities for organically grown U.S. aquaculture products.

Goal: The goal of this project is to identify consumer perceptions about organically-grown aquatic products and willingness to pay as segregated by context of purchase. This project will collect baseline consumer information on preferences for organically aquacultured seafood to assist producers in entering a production strategy to target the organic market.

Consumer Research: To gain market intelligence on organically aquacultured seafood, a series of parallel focus groups was conducted between February and May 2005.

Locations: Central Jersey, Boston Metro, Greater Chicago, and Colorado Springs.

What Happened: At each of the four locations, one group was drawn from shoppers at a retail outlet that projects a “health conscious” image and a second group was drawn from shoppers at a store that caters to a more generic shopper. Two focus groups in each of the four regions (except Chicago) yielded a total of eight focus groups. Consumers also completed a written survey investigating their individual preferences for seafood and organic products. Please see the summary and results below from the focus groups.

Telephone Survey: Based on the responses from the focus groups, a survey was adapted for telephone research. Eight hundred surveys were completed from each of the above target markets (200 in each market). See the survey here. We are currently working on the analysis and development of the summary and results of the telephone survey.

Retailer Survey: Surveys on buying preferences and product placement were sent to 257 large supermarket chains across the country. (Click here for the Organic Aquaculture Retailer Survey). Thirty-eight surveys were returned for a response rate of 14.8%.

Organic Aquaculture Research Project Results:

Project Overview. View PowerPoint Presentation here.

Presentation at International Shrimp Culture Symposium & Trade Show – Organic Shrimp – The Way of the Future Nov. 18, 2005 - Panama City, Panamá. View PowerPoint Presentation here.

Focus Group – Final Report. Click here.

The United States Market for Organic Seafood. Click here.

For More Information on Organic Seafood and Aquaculture, please check out our on-line literature review at
and visit the following sites:

USDA Press Release: Agricultural Marketing Projects Grants

USDA - FSMIP Program

USDA/AMS -- National Organic Program (USA)

USDA – National Agriculture Library – Organic Aquaculture Overview (USA)

FAO Fisheries Department – Globefish (UN)

University of Minnesota -- ISEES -- Organic Aquaculture (USA)

Organic Aquaculture: A New Wave of the Future

Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (CANADA)

Soil Association (UK)

Naturland (GERMANY)

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