Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival

Sep 7, 2013, 10:00am - 7:00pm

OSU South Centers will host the fourth annual Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival. And for the first time, the will invite the 10,000 to 12,000 expected participants to its facility for the celebration. A free event, the festival coincides with the fall harvest of Ohio-raised fish and giant freshwater shrimp. Other fish farmers and shrimp farmers are also invited.

Vendors will feed the masses with Ohio-raised fish and shrimp, and seafood lovers can push their limits in the shrimp peeling and eating contest. Monster shrimp and koi displays and a bluegrass music festival offer entertainment to adults, and kids can opt for the frog jumping contest, crawfish races, water games or the sand castle play zone. A trout feeding frenzy and crowning of the shrimp prince and princess will round out the day.

We encourage visitors to plunge right in at their sturgeon petting zoo or feed rainbow trout by hand during the festival or as part of tours offered throughout the year. The facility also maintains largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, channel catfish, fathead minnows, golden shiners, white amur, koi and fantail goldfish at its location.

Americans are consuming more fish than ever. The U.S. Economic Research Service said on average, we are eating four pounds more fish per year than we were in the 1970s. Fish offer nutritional benefits -- they are high in protein, low in saturated fat and they contain many other nutrients that are important for proper growth and development, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

With a higher demand, fish farmers are working to meet the supply. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ocean fish stock is currently fished at or beyond capacity, and the Great Lakes are also threatened from overfishing. Just as livestock farmers raise cattle, hogs, poultry and lambs, fish farmers are raising domestic fish. The premise of animal agriculture is that by raising and breeding food animals domestically, the animals' nutrition, environment and breeding can be better controlled in order to supply consumers with high-quality, consistent food. Domesticated fish are raised and marketed under that principle, too, and fish farmers boast the same bragging rights as livestock farmers - the meat from their fish is higher quality and tastier than wild-caught fish, they say. And why shouldn't it be? Farm fish eat high-protein feed, they are kept in tanks that provide continuously filtered and oxygenated water and their health and well being is closely monitored.