The Marine & Freshwater Aquaculture Research Program is developing innovative technologies to produce fishes and invertebrates to meet our growing national demand for seafood and to restock depleted recreational and commercial stocks. Research is directed toward designing and testing filtration technologies for sustainable recirculating systems and toward developing spawning, larval, fingerling and growout culture methods for marine or freshwater species. Mote's Marine & Freshwater Aquaculture Research Program conducts research at the 200-acre Mote Aquaculture Research Park (MAP) in eastern Sarasota County and at The Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration in the Florida Keys.

Spawning and rearing technologies for marine fishes and invertebrates have been investigated for a wide range of species, including Common and Pacific snook, Florida pompano, southern flounder, greater amberjack, red drum, red snapper, zebrafish, abalone, shrimp, hard corals and long-spined sea urchins.

Recirculating systems that filter and reuse water are environmentally compatible, conserve precious water resources, provide biosecurity to protect farmed animals from disease, and ensure good water quality conditions for farmed species. The opportunity to develop and expand marine fish farming to inland locations using recirculating technology addresses both land and regulatory constraints facing Florida's aquaculture producers. The need to move marine aquaculture inland is based on skyrocketing coastal property costs and the need to develop sustainable production methods that are safe for the environment and expand opportunities for diversification of Florida's aquaculture industry. Research is directed at designing and testing filtration systems that operate with minimal water loss to support the establishment of inland marine fish farms. Recent studies have integrated fish and wetland plant production in order to utilize high-nutrient waste to produce a secondary crop. Future studies will focus on expanding saleable products, incorporating alternative energy into system design to increase the economic feasibility of recirculating systems, and marine aquaponics.

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