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Anglers Thrown a Line by Hatcheries Plan

by Ellen Hardy
28 January 2008, at 12:00am

US - Florida wildlife officials have embarked on an ambitious plan that would create a statewide network of about 12 new and existing fish hatcheries.

The sites would be focused on raising popular sport species such as redfish, snook and tarpon. The fish would be released into the wild, which means that a prize redfish caught in future might actually originate from a laboratory.

Reports in Florida Today say that scientists and sport fishing groups are championing the estimated $50 million plan. They see it as a means of replenishing depleted and over-fished stocks and countering habitat declines. It also offers protection to the state's $8 billion recreational fishing industry.

The initiative could bring fish hatcheries to Brevard. Plans are in the preparation stage, but funding needs to be found.

The initiative calls for seven or eight new aquaculture facilities throughout the state and for the expansion of existing ones, such as Florida Tech's Vero Beach Marine Laboratory.

Several sites in Brevard are candidates for new hatcheries. One could be on conservation land donated to the county at a defunct clam farm south of Hog Point in South Beaches.

To read the full story click here.

Ellen Hardy