Marine Life Center

State-of-the-Art Marine Hatchery for Finfish

The Gulf Coast Marine Life Center's finfish hatchery will conduct research and development of advanced aquaculture technologies for the production of highly valuable Gulf of Mexico species such as Cobia, Red Drum, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Florida Pompano, Red Snapper, Grouper, Mahi-Mahi, and four species of Tuna (Bluefin, Yellowfin, Big-Eye and Blackfin).

image

Cobia juveniles
Courtesy University of Miami

The Gulf Coast Marine Life Center hatchery facilities will include all aspects of a successful hatchery operation, from broodstock spawning and egg collection, larval rearing, nursery, and full grow out of commercially and ecologically important finfish that are native to the Gulf of Mexico.

image

Flounder Broodstock
Courtesy University of North Carolina Wilmington

The GCMLC hatchery facility will also implement a live feed production system (producing micro algae, rotifers, copepods and artemia to be fed to the hatchery larvae). The live feeds production component is vital to maintaining a healthy hatchery operation. These feed items directly impact growth, survival, and overall productivity of the hatchery operation. It is also currently one of the most heavily researched aspects of aquaculture operations.

image

Yellowfin Tuna juvenile
Courtesy of the University of Miami

image

Black Sea Bass
Courtesy of the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The necessary aquaculture technologies to support stock enhancement efforts for a variety of commercially important Gulf of Mexico species are already in use and have been developed at the University of Miami, Louisiana State University, University of New Hampshire, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the University of Maryland. Ongoing research and development to perfect these technologies will be conducted at the Gulf Coast Marine Life Center.

The Center's experts will work closely with the various Fish and Wildlife Commissions and their partners to support enhancement efforts by producing fish for release, participating in agreed-upon tagging methods to ensure that the efficacy of such efforts can be measured, and participating in ecosystem restoration so that the environment can sustain these populations.

image

Mahi-Mahi juveniles
Courtesy of the University of Miami

In an effort to create local jobs and to reduce the United States' growing dependence on foreign seafood products, the GCMLC will assist local fishermen and companies with technological know-how and high quality fingerlings to increase domestic seafood production. These activities will help ensure the long-term viability of the Center. They will also allow for continued participation in the research, education, and stock enhancement programs necessary to promote the health of Gulf Coast ecosystems and communities for many years to come. The fish produced from this hatchery operation will be directly available for stock enhancement programs where deemed feasible along the Gulf Coast of the United States, thus ensuring a sustainable U.S. seafood industry for decades to come.