Aquaculture Accolades

VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (September 15, 2006) A University of Miami Rosenstiel School offshore aquaculture program has been recognized with two grants totaling $550,000 from NOAA's National Marine Aquaculture Initiative 2006 with an expected total of $1 million over two years, pending congressional appropriations. The grants support two ongoing projects: one that works to improve hatchery and offshore aquaculture's technology and another that measures environmental impacts and develops a means for preemptive monitoring.

Dr. Daniel Benetti, associate professor and chairman of Rosenstiel School's Division of Marine Affairs and Policy, along with Dr. Larry Brand, a professor in Rosenstiel School's Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, are the principal investigators on the two projects.

"With fisheries in decline, the burden is on scientists to develop truly ecologically sustainable aquaculture programs," Benetti said. "We plan to address some of the immediate technological problems facing aquaculture to also make this a process that is economically sustainable."

The Rosenstiel School aquaculture program is a unique collaboration between academia, private enterprise, and government, involving the Rosenstiel School, Snapperfarm Inc., Great Bay Aquaculture LLC, Ecomicrobials LLC, NOAA Fisheries Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.

Rosenstiel School's aquaculture program has developed offshore demonstration projects that are completely submerged in the deep waters. Due to greater depths and stronger currents, this open-sea approach disperses the organic and inorganic material typically associated with aquaculture. The project raises cobia, a firm-textured, white fish known for its unique ability to grow 10 times faster than other marine fish in this setting.

With this new NOAA funding, scientists will use the most advanced hatchery and grow-out technology based on the

Contact: Ivy Kupec
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

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