In Title XIV of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1980 and in the Food Security Act of 1985, Congress saw the opportunity to make significant progress in the development of aquaculture and authorized the establishment of aquaculture research, development and demonstration centers in the United States (Subtitle L, Sec. 1475 [d]). Considered by Congress as the vehicle for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement the National Aquaculture Development Plan, Subtitle L appropriated $3 million in 1987 to establish and fund five regional aquaculture centers.

The centers, located in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi and Washington, coordinate institutional resources with industry needs to fulfill their mission to support aquaculture research, development, demonstration and extension education to enhance viable and profitable U.S. aquaculture. The centers are associated with colleges and universities, state departments of agriculture, federal facilities, and nonprofit private research institutions. The five centers fund and oversee cooperative research, development and demonstration projects that directly address the concerns of industry in their regions. Besides CTSA, the other four centers are:

  • North Central Regional Aquaculture Center: NCRAC is located at Michigan State University and represents Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center: NRAC is located at the University of Maryland and represents Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.
  • Southern Regional Aquaculture Center: SRAC is located at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center and represents Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia.
  • Western Regional Aquaculture Center: WRAC is located at the University of Washington’s School of Fisheries and represents Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.