State institutions and universities have provided a steady stream of information to commercial fishermen and processors. As the health of the Gulf of Mexico has declined, fishermen have sought out new opportunities. Florida’s warm climate and diverse combination of Atlantic, Gulf and freshwater reserves makes it an ideal location for aquaculture products. Florida ranked 7th in the nation in aquaculture production and held the honor of producing the widest sampling of species in the U.S. Primary exports include oyster and hard clam production in Cedar Key and the Apalachicola areas; ornamental fish and plants in south Florida; alligators around Starke and the Everglades; as well as catfish, tilapia and striped bass in the panhandle. Aquaculture contributed over $70 million dollars to the Florida economy in 2007 and continues to grow as new technology is utilized throughout the industry.