Paul S. Wills
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) in conjunction with Florida stakeholders have determined that marine sportfish populations such as redfish, snook and spotted sea trout, need to be enhanced by stocking hatchery produced juvenile fish to meet future demand for quality fishing. In order to efficiently produce the large numbers of high quality juvenile fish needed for statewide enhancement stocking programs the FWC along with its partners have determined that production of juvenile sportfish in indoor water reuse recirculating aquaculture systems will be necessary.
HBOI has partnered with the FWC and Mote Marine laboratory to design and test efficient indoor recirculating aquaculture system technologies that will be used in the planned statewide network of saltwater fish hatcheries. When built, these hatcheries will not only produce high quality sportfish for stocking, but will also provide a focal point for habitat restoration that is needed to support sustainable sport fisheries.
State-of-the-art, efficient, recirculating aquaculture systems are being designed and tested at HBOI, Mote, and the FWC Stock Enhancement Research Facility (SERF) to raise high quality, healthy redfish juveniles. Redfish are one of the most sought-after sportfish in Florida and have been successfully stocked in other states. At HBOI we are also developing methods that will be needed by the hatcheries to breed and rear young redfish from eggs to stockable sizes entierly in these indoor recirculating aquaculture systems. For more information on the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative visit: http://www.fmfei.org/