This March we are proud to profile businesses across Ohio that contribute to our growing aquaculture industry. Aquaculture, which includes “fish farming,” is one of the fastest growing segments within the agricultural sector, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The products are used for food, stocking and environmental remediation, filling a growing demand for safe, sustainable, and locally produced food as well as providing economic opportunity to rural areas. Jones Fish Hatcheries and Distributors, Inc., in Newtown, started in 1989 stocking farm ponds throughout Ohio and have had customers such as the Cincinnati Zoo, Central Park in New York City and the White River in Indiana. Freshwater Farms of Ohio, Inc., based in Urbana, is owned and operated by three generations of the Smith family and is the state’s largest indoor fish hatchery, raising up to 100,000 pounds of fish per year. Calala’s Water Haven Inc. is a family-owned farm with over 50 years of experience in the aquaculture industry. They have 60 ponds that cover 90 acres of land and have 300,000 gallons of recirculating systems as well as flow-through capabilities in New London. Since 2004, RainFresh Harvests has grown wholesome foods in an ecologically sustainable system, blending nature with technology in Union, Ohio. Frazeyburg is the hometown of Ripple Rock Fish Farms, LLC and in 2011 their company began with just two 55 gallon drums filled with 12 goldfish. They have since grown into a 3,000 gallon system producing more than 2,500 pounds of tilapia.
For more on this growing industry in our state, visit the Ohio Aquaculture Association and The Ohio State University South Centers OCARD program.