Walleye fishery threatened; Puerto Rico aquaculture, calling ALVIN on ocean bottom

on wild fish," says Swackhamer, "where reproductive opportunities are limited and competition is severe." Further study of fish in Duluth, and eventually the entire Great Lakes, should give her team a better idea of what causes the fish to develop female characteristics.
CONTACT: Deb Swackhamer, Minnesota Sea Grant Researcher and University of Minnesota Professor, School of Public Health 612-626-0435, Email: dswack@umn.edu

Off the Puerto Rican Island of Culebra, researchers are testing new aquaculture technology that could reduce the environmental impact of such fish farming operations. By using offshore aquaculture cages, Snapperfarm, Inc, and Dr. Daniel Benetti, Director of the Aquaculture Program at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, at the University of Miami, hope to grow fish in offshore waters with minimal environmental impact. A group of Puerto Rico Sea Grant scientists will conduct a study to monitor the environmental impact of this innovative technology as well as its social impact.

Two cages were stocked in August, one with 12,000 cobia (the first time this has ever been done for this species) and the other with 4,000 mutton snapper. So far the fish are doing well-- they grew to three times their original size in just two weeks.

Currently, only five percent of Puerto Rico's seafood supply comes from aquaculture fisheries. Inshore aquaculture projects are subject to domestic and industrial runoff, and its own wastes can impact the local environment. Offshore, limited technology previously prevented deployments from being harmed by ocean elements. The new cage technology, developed by Ocean Spar, can resist the elements and is cleaner for the environment. In addition to monitoring the caged fish and their development, future studies will include environmenta

Contact: Ben Sherman
National Sea Grant College Program

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