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Hefty funding for novel marine fish research

09 May 2017

A project to advance aquaculture technology for high-value marine fish such as tuna and hirame (Japanese flounder) has received $1.5 million in funding.

The project will take place at the University of Miami (UM) Experimental Fish Hatchery and will be a collaborative effort between New York-based Aqquua LLC US and the UM Rosenstiel School-based Aquaculture Program. It aims to improve hatchery and other aquaculture technologies of a number of economically valuable species that have never been developed elsewhere in the world.

“This research agreement will help advance sustainable aquaculture research at a time when it is critically needed to support increasing demand for high-quality protein to feed the world’s growing population,” said UM Rosenstiel School Professor Dan Benetti, director of the UM Aquaculture Program. “We are pleased by Aqquua’s commitment to advance aquaculture technology in a sustainable way.”

The research initiative will include upgrading existing facilities at the UM Experimental Fish Hatchery to conduct studies on reproductive physiology and the environmental, nutritional and energetic requirements necessary to optimize aquaculture technologies of selected species.

“The first step towards implementing viable land-based aquaculture operations is to identify and select species that can be successfully raised in recirculating aquaculture systems,” said Charlie Siebenberg, Founder and CEO of Aqquua US. “For this reason, we have teamed up with UM Aquaculture to identify and select high-value species that can be raised at high stocking densities in such systems.”

The UM Experimental Hatchery is located on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay, approximately one mile southeast of downtown Miami. The hatchery is a state-of-the-art facility with capabilities to hold broodstock and conduct research on larval rearing and nursery of several ecologically and economically important species. It supports an innovative academic and research program centered on advanced science and technology to ensure that seafood production through aquaculture is wholesome, environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and economically viable.

"This collaboration with industry to address such an important need for humanity in a sustainable manner, is an important model for the type of research that the School plans to conduct in the future. We are truly excited by this new initiative," said Roni Avissar, Dean of the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Over 90% of the seafood consumed in the US is imported – and most of it is farmed. Americans are consuming more seafood than ever, and the upward trend continues as a consequence of the recognized and well-publicized health benefits of seafood consumption.

 



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