Florida plans fish hatchery at Mote

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
3 May 2007, at 1:00am

US - Engineers are looking at Mote's Aquaculture Park to find the right location for a new fish hatchery. It will be one of three the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plans to operate in the state.

Preliminary plans call for about 10 acres, which the commission will lease from Mote, to start rearing red drum using a system that recirculates water,. It's a first for the commission, but something Mote has been working on for years. Research will also focus on determining the best stage when the fish should be released into the wild for them to survive.

The hatchery will start with red fish, but the state will look at incorporating spotted sea trout and other types of fish.

Different from the traditional pond-style hatcheries, a recirculation site requires less land and doesn't need to sit near the coast, where land is more expensive.

And as Luiz Barbieri, head of the commission's Marine Fisheries Research section, looks at using the $2 million appropriated by the state to start work on a new saltwater hatchery network, he likes the idea that saltwater fish can be reared inland as part of an environmentally sensitive process.

"Using a recirculating system where you recycle and reuse the water to the best extent possible - it's a good choice financially because of the land issue, but also decreases environmental impact," he said.