Software to Support Oregon Aquaculture Investment

Oregon State University has received a nearly $700,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide software tools for investors interested in starting aquaculture businesses in Oregon. This software, the Oregon Aquaculture Explorer Platform, provides more than 100 layers of data, including everything from water quality to energy costs to seasonal temperature variations. Investors and other stakeholders can use the platform to produce a specific report on aquaculture potential for any particular site in the state. An earlier grant supported development of three aquaculture business scenarios in the software: tilapia in recirculating tank systems; sturgeon in recirculating tanks; and hybrid striped bass in ponds. The new funding from NOAA will allow the team to create additional investment models that include species that live in oceans or estuaries. It’s aimed at increasing Oregon’s share of aquaculture business to levels more like other states in the region.