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New survey finds Florida tropical fish farmers bring more than $172 million in sales to state's economy

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UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Lab
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Craig Watson, director of the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Lab with tank of clown loaches

While Florida is primarily known for producing agricultural products like oranges, tomatoes and other crops, a new first-of-its kind survey conducted by UF/IFAS has shown that tropical fish farmers in the state bring more than $172 million in sales annually to Florida’s economy. That’s more than well-known crops like watermelons and grapefruit.

The number reflects 2021 sales by members of the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association, and includes direct sales of tropical fish and invertebrates, and aquatic plants, to wholesalers, plus direct sales to pet shops and other retail sales all around the country and beyond.

Here in the U.S. most tropical fish are farmed in Florida. Imported fish come mostly from Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Japan.

We learn more about the tropical fish industry, and the results of this new economic impact study.

GUEST:
Craig Watson, director of the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Lab in Ruskin