HAGERMAN -- In the Magic Valley, along a stretch of the Snake River you can find some of the largest fish farms in the state. Nestled among the farms is one of the top aquaculture, or fish farming research, facilities in the world -- the University of Idaho's Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station.

Nobody knows Hagerman, Idaho but everybody knows Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station in Idaho, and we are speaking worldwide, said University of Idaho Ph.D. student Andreas Brezas.

Brezas traveled all the way from Greece to get his Ph.D. while studying aquaculture at the U of I's lab in Hagerman.

This facility is one of the top in the world, said Brezas.

When the lab first opening in 1996, there were just two employees. Today, it attracts students and scientists from all over the world.

We have a visiting scientist from China, we have visiting scientists on sabbatical from Mexico, said Ronald Hardy, a professor with the University of Idaho and the Director of the Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station.

This past year, one of the top shrimp researchers in the world, Elizabeth Cruz, conducted research at the facility.

We have learned a lot, maybe we need another year, said Cruz.

All of the experiments are aimed at helping better understand aquaculture, the farming of fish.

The health and wellness of the fish, the safety and quality of the products that are produced from farm fish, said Hardy.

The lab is trying to develop more sustainable ways to raise fish. Hardy says the research being done in Hagerman is becoming more important than ever.

The oceans just don't have the capacity to feed our growing population and meet their demand in developing countries, said Hardy.

In fact, over 50 percent of the seafood in the world is grown on farms. To make farming more successful researchers are analyzing the impacts of certain food on fish, developing vaccines to help prevent diseases and studying fish environments.

All the students and visiting scientists who come to the lab help further the research, in large part so they can take what they learn back home.

That is the hope to bring back home and use this knowledge to help lets say to grow more the aquaculture in my country, said Brezas.

You may wonder why the experiment station is in Hagerman, Hardy told us it is because of the water. Springs keep the water temperature and quality consistent throughout the year.

Read or Share this story: