Last week, I spent a few busy days in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida with the GCOOS Board of Directors and faculty and researchers with the USF College of Marine Science and Mote Marine Laboratory’s Aquaculture Research Park. Scientists in Mote’s Marine and Freshwater Aquaculture Research Program conduct research around filtration technologies for sustainable recirculating systems, which are a critical component of inland aquaculture. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are essentially aquariums where water is filtered and reused (in a way that safeguards the environment, protects organisms from disease, ensures high water quality, and conserves water resources); Mote has one of the largest RAS for research in the country. Mote scientists are also researching spawning and rearing technologies for a wide variety of marine or freshwater species, from snook and red drum to corals and sea urchins. Mote has been nationally recognized for their work on this issue; Dr. Kevan Main, head of the aquaculture park (with me in photo), was honored in 2016 by the White House as a “champion of change” for her research on sustainable seafood.
Congress has also taken up the issue of aquaculture, with the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 3138 and H.R. 6966). The AQUAA Act would enable growth in offshore aquaculture and would help address the need for continued research to advance safe, sustainable multi-trophic aquaculture while ensuring environmentally responsible means provide adequate feed and hatchlings that support an economically sustainable industry. Mote, and other of our member institutions, are working to solve the challenges above, including how to sustain future offshore aquaculture. I’m looking forward to more in-depth discussion around this topic among our members, government officials, and other involved organizations in the months ahead.
Fishing Forecasts Can Predict Marine Creature Movements
Can we predict marine wildlife like meteorologists predict the weather, so fisherman can make real-time decisions on the water? Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have been studying established tools like those used for weather forecasts, so they can develop a new program that estimates where marine species are likely to be each day. Unlike a weather forecast, their tool can’t help you decide if you need an umbrella or sunglasses, but it can help fishermen decide where to fish.
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