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6 Information Exchange, Technology Transfer, and Education OVERVIEW The development model for an agricultural product typically follows a logical and time-proven sequence. Information is developed, tested in field conditions, monitored by agencies, extended to users, and then transferred to the private sector to be incorporated into commercial activities. Inves- tors and lending institutions ultimately rely on a support system to make the logical sequence yield benefits. The Morrill Act of 1862 provides the foundation of the U.S. agricultural support system through the establish- ment of the land grant university system of higher education. A wide spec- trum of technical disciplines is represented at each land grant campus. The agricultural support system includes an integrated research, teaching, and extension effort involving faculty researchers, extension personnel, and the private sector. Research and teaching in each state occur at campus locations and nu- merous experimental stations. Research results are extended to agricultural producers and the agricultural business infrastructure by a network of Coop- erative Extension Service (CES) centers that includes on-campus specialists, as well as staff located in every county. CES technical training techniques include short courses and workshops, which together with communi- cation on an individual basis, have proved to be effective means of research interpretation and technology transfer. Publications and on-site demonstra- tions at cooperating grower farms add to the process of continuing educa- tion. Extension programs provide technical assistance on systems design, production, business planning, management, and marketing. 158

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INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND EDUCATION 159 -_ r .. . . . ^~ ~_- me_ Id' - ~~,i~~ ~ T~ _, , - ~ _ ~ ~ ~ __ fit _ ED '__ 1 :! ~r7~ Bll4~ a __ ~. FEZ . ,. 2_ r - - . .~ A_ Cam _ as - = Aerial view of the James M. Waddell, Jr., Marine Research and Development Center in Bluffton, South Carolina. Support of aquaculture is provided by universities involved with land grant or sea grant programs. Unlike agriculture, however, the land grant system's linkage of campus research, experimental farms, and organization for information and technology transfer has not been duplicated in the area of marine aquaculture. Specifically appropriated funds for the National Sea Grant College Program partially address extension, but establishment of experimental "farms" and extension positions specifically in marine aqua- culture are limited and hamper the effort to transfer the agricultural model to the aquatic area. At the present time, the processes for information exchange, technology transfer, and education in the marine aquaculture field are to a large degree ad hoc and informal. A more structured system is needed to facilitate the flow of information and the transfer of new technol- ogy and to provide more formal training. Information may be communi- cated verbally or in written form as raw data, printed material, or personal consultation. The important point is that information is of use to a field of endeavor only if it is shared. The transfer of technology is a process that requires more extended effort than information exchange, usually involving animals or facilities. Tech- nology transfer is generally accomplished through a practitioner who is a specialist and frequently occurs through private consultations, short

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160 MARINE AQUACULTURE courses, demonstration or pilot projects, and the systems of higher educa- tion. Private consultants working with clients are constantly pushing at the edge of technology to make operations more cost-effective and profitable. However, consultants often are limited in the amount of technology they can transfer from project to project by the proprietary nature of their work. Short courses conducted by university, extension, and private companies are frequently an effective means of technology transfer. Demonstration projects, such as those at the Waddell Mariculture Center, the Oceanic In- stitute, the Texas A&M and University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Louisiana State University, and the University of Washington, provide valu- able technology transfer points when the potential aquaculture entrepreneur is aware of their existence. In addition to information exchange and technology transfer to practitio- ners, two areas of education that need attention in relation to marine aqua- culture are (1) increasing public awareness of aquaculture and (2) training of specialists. Very little, if any, general knowledge of marine biology or aquaculture is transmitted in kindergarten through twelfth grade. In fact, awareness of marine systems in general, at those levels, is rarely stressed. At the undergraduate level, current training for a career in aquaculture is primarily through the selection of technical electives; rarely, through an option in animal science or biology; or through two- and four-year technical programs. Graduates from these programs, however, often lack sufficient background in more multidisciplinary training that includes engineering, economics, property/environmental law, and other subjects related to the marine environment that would enable them to work independently without additional training. The majority of graduate programs include specialties such as fisheries or aquaculture within another discipline (e.g., marine biology/ science, animal science, or engineering). In these programs, as at the under- graduate level, it is difficult to obtain specific training in marine aquaculture. Continuing education can provide both training for specialists in areas other than those involved in their usual work activities and disseminate information about new techniques or technologies to practitioners. Private and public short courses or continuing education courses, workshops and seminars, annual trade association and professional meetings, and educa- tional exchange programs are the primary techniques used. To improve the present situation of information exchange, technology transfer, and education, fundamental prerequisites for a formal system of expert information and technology need to be established. The prerequi- sites include a structured system for the exchange of basic information and the transfer of technology, formal educational programs, support of continu- ing education and training for specialists, and public education. The cre- ation of these structures and mechanisms would improve the practice of marine aquaculture and would benefit the economics and marketing

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INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND ED UCATI ON 161 aspects of industry operations as well. A structured system would stimulate more rapid advances in all aspects of marine aquaculture systems through better dissemination of research results. INFORMATION EXCHANGE Currently, information is communicated through a number of processes and institutions with varying degrees of success. The vast majority of in- formation transfer within the marine aquaculture community occurs through trade journals, trade shows, professional journals, scientific meetings, and extension programs. Private consultants are involved in information trans- fer, but they are limited, as a rule, by the client-professional relationship. Consultants are participants in trade show programs however and, because of their technical training, at professional society meetings as well. As consultants, they frequently present general information, comment on tech- nology adaptability, and convey general trends as opposed to disclosing . . . . specific project information. Sea Grant Program extension personnel also conduct information ex- change activities in marine aquaculture, but they are responsible for the entire spectrum of marine activities. This limits the commitment of time and the relative continuity with which they can address marine aquaculture concerns. Sea Grant extension personnel are assigned geographically (by county or region) and focus on local information transfer and education opportunities. Their technical support system includes campus-based spe- cialists in the fields of aquaculture, biology, engineering, law, economics, and others. Specialists, although well educated, frequently do not have the option of working exclusively on a single aspect of marine resource use. Many are specialists in a technical discipline and have limited training or experience specific to marine aquaculture. The Regional Aquaculture Centers established in 1985 under the aus- pices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are responsible for both the generation and the dissemination of information. Research projects are funded at public research institutions, and results are exchanged via Cooperative Extension (USDA) and Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) (NOAA) extension pro- grams. The communication of research results and of information and tech- nology needs between scientists and commercial practitioners is a vital role of these extension services. The opportunity exists for increased in- volvement of marine aquaculture agents/advisors and specialists from the USDA Regional Aquaculture Centers to adequately provide for the feed- back aspect of effective information exchange, as well as to provide the information delivery system. The National Aquaculture Information Center (NAIC), affiliated with the

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162 MARINE AQUACULTURE USDA National Agriculture Library, has the potential to serve as the clearinghouse for information and to become a focal point for information transfer. However, the withdrawal of base-level funding support for the NAIC has severely limited its capability to retrieve and disseminate infor- mation. The lack of a funded central information retrieval system affects the ability of professionals responsible for information exchange to do the best possible job. Extension personnel with limited marine aquaculture training would benefit from access to such a system. Availability of an international aquaculture reference and data network would be particularly beneficial. Current methods of data collection and statistics from national and inter- national sources are inadequate in terms of both quantity and quality. The only national data source for aquaculture, Aquaculture Situation and Out- look Reports by USDA, covers freshwater species fairly accurately but does not include many of the cultured marine species. Data for the production of new and evolving species are often not reported. In addition, a significant proportion of cultured production may be marketed in such a way that it is not reported (USDA, 1988~. The International Fisheries Office of the National Marine Fisheries Ser- vice (NMFS) occasionally reports statistics and developments in marine aquaculture for selected countries. These irregularly produced country analyses are useful for near-term outlook purposes. They are an information source of increasing value as the United States strives to meet international compe- tition. Information transfer would be more complete if a larger number of countries were reviewed each year. Two recent publications attempt to present data on aquaculture produc- tion and value for all freshwater and marine aquaculture species. The first, The Potentials of Aquaculture: An Overview and Bibliography (Hanfman et al., 1989), put out by the National Aquaculture Information Center, states that accurate data on current U.S. production of salmon are unavailable. In addition, statistics on the status of worldwide aquaculture are based on data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As of early 1991, the most current statistics used in FAO publications were from 1987 or, in some cases, part of 1988. The dramatic expansion of marine aquaculture production in the past three years renders these statistics inad- equate for assessing the status of current production. The most accurate current world production statistics must be culled from trade journals, an approach that is time consuming and, in some cases, incomplete. A second source of aquaculture statistics and one that offers the most complete data set on the western region of the United States was compiled by the Western Regional Aquaculture Consortium (Chew and Toba, 1991) in cooperation with the USDA. The authors offer caveats on their statistics as follows: "The report is . . . a compilation of estimates in aquaculture

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INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND EDUCATION 163 production as provided by . . . [industry] representatives." They then ex- plain that the statistics represent averages of several estimates and that the probability exists for errors. The most complete information available on aquaculture production and value for the western region is, it seems, preliminary at best. A number of actions could improve the overall task of information ex- change. The two exchange components are dissemination of research re- sults and data distribution. The dissemination component is hindered by the relatively small number of individuals with an assigned marine aquaculture extension responsibility. The agents need opportunities to receive profes- sional improvement training and to have access to accurate information retrieval systems. Specialists, similarly, need these opportunities to be better prepared, with particular emphasis on international developments and formal interaction with researchers. The second component of the information exchange process, data distri- bution, begins with the understanding that research and trade developments yield data. A national network for electronic collection and transfer of data, such as that employed for the national crop reporting system, would vastly improve data collection. In addition, the designation of a state specialist to provide leadership and be a point of contact for information, followed later by county agents when the industry develops (i.e., to lead, organize, and follow with numbers), would be effective in gathering state-level informa- tion. This system could be patterned after the successful process used for agricultural data collection and transfer (USDA, 19901. Specific mechanisms can be applied to attain a system that will facilitate the free flow of information and the transfer of technology generated na- tionwide, specifically in the areas identified above. Increased and improved (i.e., accurate) data collection to enhance the status of marine aquaculture is basic to all aspects of marine aquaculture development (Hanfman et al., 19891. Existing data collection mechanisms (i.e., the USDA crop and fish- eries reporting services) could provide industry data on production, employment, gear, economics, and trade, for example. The transfer of infor- mation data, unpublished reports, and literature from foreign countries to the United States could be accomplished through use of the NAIC as well as through U.S. scientists' visits abroad. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Because the success of marine aquaculture depends on technology devel- opment, both nationally and internationally, frequent needs arise to acquire and/or transfer new technology rapidly to fulfill investment plans and re- main competitive. These economic pressures create incentives to transfer technology prematurely, which often results in outcomes that are initially

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64 MARINE AQUACULTURE unsatisfactory. Modifications "on-site" to improve the technology depend on extended relationships and contacts between those transferring and those receiving the technology. Such situations require continuing relationships among extension personnel, researchers, and the individuals, companies, or agencies that apply their findings. The implications of this pattern for the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Ser- vice and Cooperative Extension are that arrangements will be required for prolonged contact among the parties. This situation is in contrast to the information exchange function that deals with large numbers of users for brief periods (i.e., meetings, short courses). An improved technology trans- fer system for marine aquaculture will require an organizational structure and resources that allow extended relationships with users and, consequently, will require the allocation of more resources to this process than at present. The adoption of technology by industry users often results in modifica- tion or adaptations of the technology. Thus, the process of technology transfer may lead to technology modifications that are proprietary. As a result, a close, confidential relationship is needed among all parties. Rec- ognition of this potential development is necessary prior to technology transfer agreements. University offices of technology transfer have experi- ence with the proprietary aspects of improvements. Specific attention to proprietary rights is important because of the complexities and the basic role of technology transfer in a changing industry. The anticipated benefi- cial feedback of research needs to campuses when technology is transferred may not occur otherwise. A mechanism of providing statewide specialists for facilitating informa- tion and technology transfer could be expanded upon and offered within some concentration of the Sea Grant Program and the Cooperative Exten- sion Service. Even though there are some pilot-scale demonstration proj- ects around the United States, substantial benefits can be obtained from developing marine aquaculture field stations and demonstration of semi- commercial-scale production. Semicommercial production demonstration facilities would bridge the present gap between the small-scale, purely ap- plied research technology or pilot-scale production and the commercial production technology. Currently, the USDA Regional Aquaculture Centers are working to im- prove the exchange and integration of the results of collaborative applied research among university, extension, and industry researchers and users. These efforts have met with varying degrees of success in various centers. New methods of integration would serve to increase the rate of development of marine aquaculture in the United States by minimizing unnecessary duplication of efforts. A large number of innovations in marine aquaculture are developed by other countries. Current state-of-the-art technology around the world could

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INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND EDUCATION 165 be exchanged and transferred to enable faster growth of the world marine aquaculture industry. The means for international technology transfer and exchange of scientists is not well organized. A program to encourage U.S. scientists' visits abroad could help to bridge the gap in international tech- nology transfer. Because marine aquaculture production operates in a glo- bal market, care must be taken to emphasize the benefits to the world marine aquaculture industry. New initiatives could also be taken to develop additional foreign exchange programs. EDUCATION The availability of formal education specific to marine aquaculture is limited, so the field draws practitioners from the general areas of science and engineering. Additional recruiting efforts may be necessary to increase the number of graduate students entering these programs who intend to use their skills in the United States if a strong base of talent is to be available for the development of marine aquaculture. In addition to higher enrollments, some form of cross-training or inter- disciplinary studies needs to be incorporated in the training and education programs of aquaculturists. Aquaculture is a profession that requires exper- tise in a broad number of subject areas, such as biology, engineering, eco- nomics, regulation, administration, business, trade, and marketing. In de- signing cross-disciplinary programs, however, care must be taken to ensure that the end result is not a half-trained engineer or a half-trained biologist. The goal is to train an engineer, for example, who has some rudimentary knowledge of the relevant biological concepts and terminology, and is capable of formulating appropriate questions to ask a biologist. The same concept would apply to the biologist, economist, or social scientist special- . , . Zing In aquaculture. A number of universities and other public organizations offer short or continuing education courses in marine aquaculture. In addition, private organizations conduct short courses in marine aquaculture-related topics. The Cooperative Extension Service and the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service conduct workshops and seminars for private aquaculturists and agency personnel. Annual trade shows and professional meetings also pro- vide educational opportunities in specific areas. The ongoing United States- Japan cooperative education exchange program is effective in providing technology transfer and exchange between these two countries, and could serve as a model for exchanges with other countries. Public information on and awareness of aquaculture are limited and, in some cases, consist primarily of information about widely publicized negative environmental effects. A reasonable goal for public education efforts is to raise the level of awareness about aquaculture of the general

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66 MARINE AQUACULTURE public, people involved in the industry, and regulators and agency personnel. At the kindergarten through twelfth grade level, educational activities could be focused on marine systems in general. Audiences could be ad- dressed through 4-H, designating an Ocean Week, and similar programs. At the undergraduate level, increased educational opportunities in biological systems engineering would serve to round out one of the important areas of training that is currently inadequate. Expanded graduate programs focused on areas of marine aquaculture in engineering, veterinary medicine, eco- nomics, and policy/regulatory programs would provide professionals who could apply their expertise toward marine aquaculture. In addition, foreign exchange programs for graduate students and research scientists would both serve as training and educational programs and increase the opportunities for technology transfer and exchange. Overall awareness of the industry itself, some of its unique problems, and the need for collaborative efforts among diverse professions can be improved through the promotion of linkages among professional organiza- tions, government agencies, and interest groups, such as the NMFS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), recreational and commercial fisher- men, environmental groups, consumer groups, agricultural sectors, the Ameri- can Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Fisheries Society, and the World Aquaculture Society. A broader group of people needs to be reached with information regarding the marine aquaculture industry in order to raise the awareness of others and ensure information exchange. MARINE AQUACULTURE TECHNOLOGY CENTERS Marine aquaculture would benefit from the establishment of marine aqua- culture technology centers to serve as facilities where multidisciplinary teams would come together to carry out focused development, advancement, and technology transfer of marine aquaculture systems. Such centers would complement the biological research laboratories in which the basic biologi- cal understanding and design criteria must originate. Such centers would not require new facilities at new sites, but the reprogramming and redevel- opment of existing facilities and research institutions or the use of existing USDA, NMFS, or FWS facilities. Candidate facilities that could be transformed into regional marine aqua- culture technology centers include state and federal centers that can be found in all regions of the country that have an interest in coastal and marine matters, so that geographic and species considerations could be eas- ily encompassed. These centers could be designated without any addi- tional funding, although consideration might be given to allocation of an appropriate portion of the Saltonstall-Kennedy funds (raised from duties

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INFORMATION EXCHANGE, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND ED UCATION 167 on food imports, including aquaculture products) to support research that would reduce U.S. dependency on imported seafood. Institution of a peer re- view process similar to the National Science Foundation's competition for basic research grants would ensure a high level of quality for research programs conducted at the centers. The following characteristics would be appropriate for any national centers for marine aquaculture technology: centers at three or more locations to provide for a range of climatic and ecological conditions (e.g., Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf); programs focused on building on existing technology in a timely manner; facilities for a wide range of research areas (e.g., biological investiga- tions, marine structures, marine materials, sensing and monitoring equip- ment, water reuse technologies, processing methods, quality enhancement; and tagging and marking systems). Biological laboratories should comple- ment (not duplicate) existing research institutions; a strong staff of professionals from various disciplines including biolo- gists, engineers, economists, food scientists, institutional/policy specialists, and marketing/business specialists; an advisory board that includes strong representation from commercial aquaculture; direct electronic information exchange and interaction with other re- search programs at universities and state or federal agencies; and modern facilities designed for maximum flexibility in responding to new research directions, including capability to undertake remote research with portable equipment. Such a program would contribute to the advancement of marine aqua- culture with appropriate attention to economic, institutional, and environ- mental concerns by assembling an interdisciplinary staff, directing their activities into areas of specific interest to commercial aquaculturists, and providing facilities for research and extension activities. Advancement would be stimulated by the interdisciplinary, targeted research and the associated technology transfer. The technology centers could be complemented by research parks that would provide the private sector with a location for conducting research and development for commercialization, Scrivani (1990) suggested the concept of state aquaculture parks where entrepreneurs could lease space, seawater, and infrastructure and be covered by an umbrella permit. Such parks would foster commercial operations, but even more importantly, would foster commercialization (i.e., parks could play an important role in technology transfer). A planned linkage between the technology centers and such aqua- culture parks would facilitate the deployment of new technology.

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68 MARINE AQUACULTURE SUMMARY Current information and technology transfer efforts for marine aquacul- ture are ad hoc and informal, compared to those for traditional agriculture. They lack dedicated resources and structure. The leading federal agencies with responsibilities for aquaculture extension services have few aquacul- ture specialists and especially few marine aquaculture specialists. Yet the technology in this field is evolving rapidly, and researchers and practi- tioners are, of necessity, involved in informal national and international data and technology transfer. A more coordinated, formalized, and care- fully structured system would overcome some of the problems of dupli- cation of effort and unreliable or unavailable data, and would provide a solid base for the development of advanced technologies necessary to the success of this industry. The enhancement of cooperative extension programs to provide training and the establishment of academic programs aimed specifically at the needs of marine aquaculture are also prerequisites to its advancement. Enhance- ment of national marine aquaculture in the United States could be assisted by emphasis on increased collaboration between the Cooperative Extension Service and the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. An expansion of the NAIC within the National Agriculture Libraryto include more informa- tion on marine aquaculture, using the most modern techniques and real-time data available, and announcing its availabilitywould increase the aware- ness of regulators, managers, lenders, and investors, and their ability to serve the industry. As a result, investment and regulation would occur in the best possible circumstances. Such a system also would provide re- searchers and research program administrators with the best available infor- mation on which to base research proposals. REFERENCES Chew, K.K., and D. Toba. 1991. Western region aquaculture industry: Situation and outlook report. Western Regional Aquaculture Consortium, University of Washington, Seattle. 23 pp. Hanfman, D.T., S. Tibbitt, and C. Watts. 1989. The potentials of aquaculture: An overview and bibliography. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bibliographies and Literature of Agriculture No. 90. Washington, D.C. Scrivani, P. 1990. Presentation to the committee. Davis, Calif., March 19. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 1988. Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report. Economic Research Service. AQUA 1. Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 1990. Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Exports. Foreign Agriculture Service, Economic Research Service, Washington, D.C.