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CSA at Aquaculture America 2024: A Recap

If you attended the World Aquaculture Society’s Aquaculture America Conference (AA24) in San Antonio, Texas this year, you might have seen the Coalition for Sustainable Aquaculture. If you enjoyed a hot coffee during one of the refreshment breaks, you may have read quotes by our members Chef Valentine Thomas, Trey McMillan, or Eric Schwaab printed on your coffee sleeve. But if none of this sounds familiar, don’t worry.  Here is a recap of CSA’s presence at AA24. 

CSA’s cornerstone is our members, and several of our members in attendance contributed to AA24 sessions. They shared their expertise, lived experiences, and vision for a sustainable aquaculture industry in the U.S.

  • Imani Black, founder and CEO of Minorities in Aquaculture, spoke on a panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Aquaculture. She also spoke at a DEI lunch for a local young women’s leadership high school group, sharing her experience and expertise with a new generation.  
  • Julie Kuchepatov, founder and CEO of Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE), gave a talk on advancing gender equity in the seafood sector in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Aquaculture session. 
  • Ruth Driscoll-Lovejoy, director of the U.S. aquaculture campaign at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), gave a lightning talk introducing the CSA during the Social Dimensions of Aquaculture: Building a Community of Resilience session as well as a talk on her journey to a career in aquaculture policy during the Women in Aquaculture session.  
  • Angelo San Pablo, future leader and graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shared his work on closing knowledge gaps and improving sustainability along the aquaculture feed supply chains in the poster session.

We also had the pleasure of introducing several new members to the CSA during AA24. 

CSA sleeves
Coffee sleeves at AA24 featured the CSA logo and quotes from our members.

CSA hosted a booth at the AA24 Trade Show, the largest trade show in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to giving out many, many stickers and recipe cards (Thank you, CSA members: Chef Andrew Zimmern, Chef Sammy Monsour, Chef Shaui Wang, Chef Mavis-Jay Sanders, Chef Grace Ramirez, and LowCountry Oyster’s Trey McMillian!), CSA members introduced the coalition to the attendees of AA24. We distributed information on the CSA and members, the SEAfood Act, and the peer-reviewed paper on aquaculture knowledge gaps that informs our work. Although some members couldn’t attend in person, they showed up in the Conversations with CSA videos shown at the booth.  

CSA had a lot of great engagement and questions from AA24 attendees. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we received (and their answers). 


What is the Coalition?

The CSA is a group made up of individual members (including fishermen, seafood farmers, chefs and future leaders) as well as organizations (including NGOs and industry) who have the shared goal of making sure Americans have access to responsible, sustainable, locally sourced seafood. We know that, if we do it right, open ocean aquaculture in U.S. waters can complement wild-caught fisheries, and put additional sustainably sourced, nutritious, U.S. seafood in our grocery stores, restaurants, farmers’ markets, and homes—all while creating much-needed jobs in coastal communities. You can learn more about our members on our website. 


Where are you located?

We’re all over! CSA members live and work throughout the U.S. We have representation in over 20 states from East Coast to West Coast to Gulf Coast—and Hawaii and Alaska too!


Are you a nonprofit?

The CSA is a partnership of diverse individuals and organizations (both for-profit and non-profit). While some of our members are nonprofits, the CSA is a diverse group of different individuals and organizations, for-profit and nonprofit. Our members are the heart of the CSA, and the CSA is not simply reflective of one member or organization. We celebrate diversity in our membership and are made stronger by the varied backgrounds and expertise each of our members bring to the table. 


What are you focused on now?

We are focused on responsible open ocean aquaculture in U.S. federal waters, which is between 3 and 200 nautical miles off the U.S. coast in most cases. We support the SEAfood Act, which you can learn more about from our one-pager.


How can I get involved?

The best way to keep up with the CSA is on social media—we’re on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you are interested in joining our mailing list or want to learn more about membership, reach out to us.


Caption for featured image: CSA’s booth at AA24, with members (right to left) Ruth Driscoll-Lovejoy and Sara Carney (EDF), Imani Black (MIA), and Julie Kuchepatov (SAGE).