Volume 54

Advances in Hatchery and Growout Technology of Marine Finfish Candidate Species for Offshore and Aquaculture in the Caribbean

Benetti, D.D.; Alarcón, J.F.; Stevens, O.M.; O'Hanlon, B.; Rivera, J.A.; Banner-Stevens, G.; Rotman, F.J.
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Date: November, 2001

Pages: 473-487

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Fourth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Providenciales Turks & Caicos Islands

Country: Turks and Caicos Islands


This paper describes advances in hatchery and growout technology of selected candidate species of marine finfish for offshore aquaculture in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Southeastern US. Emphasis is given on relevant progress achieved with mutton snapper (Lutjanus analis), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerill) and cobia (Rachycentrum canadum), focusing on our own research and development program. The following topics are reviewed: broodstock management, including capture, transport, handling, sampling, prophylaxis, acclimation and quarantine; biological control of parasites; biosecurity; broodstock nutrition; and environmentally conditioned and hormone-induced spawning techniques; intensive and semi-intensive larval rearing using mesocosm systems with artificial substrates; proactive health management, specifically the use of probiotics to improve health and aquaculture performance of marine fish during early developmental stages; nursery techniques; and, studies conducted ongrowth, survival and feed conversion rates of mutton snapper raised in floating cages.\Site assessment criteria and environmental issues related to offshore fish aquaculture in net cages are addressed, as well as the legal framework and relevant regulatory issues. A project being developed by Snappefarm and the University of Miami to demonstrate the technological. environmental, social and economic viability of offshore aquaculture in Puerto Rico is described. The project is scheduled to begin in 2002 with the deployment of two 3,000 m3 SeaStation submersible cages and their subsequent stocking with mutton snapper and cobia fingerlings. The offshore growout demonstration project is the first and most important component of the "Sustainable Offshore Aquafarm", a conceptual idea that Snappefarm and the University of Miami set out to establish in the region within the next few years. The Sustainable Offshore Aquafarm concept is also described in this paper.\Most countries throughout the Caribbean have appropriate offshore areas with great potential for sustainable aquaculture development. Adequate utilization of available areas and infrastructure can lead to the development of unexploited resomces with the potential of generating a large number of jobs and enormous social and economic benefits to the region. The main hurdle is the required establishment of an effective and integrated collaborative effort among private industry, local governments, academic and research institutions, non-government organizations, and stakeholders from influential social and professional sectors.

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