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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Mote aquaculture project to keep seafood chefs working  (อ่าน 3698 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: พฤศจิกายน 16, 2006, 11:25:58 PM »

Source: Herald Tribune  World News    15/11/2006 23:37:48
Source or related URL: http://www.heraldtribune.com

 
Cathy Zollo

In the world of aquaculture, Kevan Main might as well be Dr. Love.



Walking with famous Chef Roy Yamaguchi around her fish farming operation 12 miles due east of downtown Sarasota, Main, a biologist with two decades of work in aquaculture, talks as much about the ambience fish need to reproduce as she does about Mote Marine Laboratory's effort to promote fish farming.

They don't pipe in Barry White tunes or crack open a decent red.



But the 75,000 square feet of indoor tanks, lighting, heating, cooling and water filters are all about fish love.



And the research at Mote's Aquaculture Park is about making sure there are enough fish for the people who love to eat them.



Its aim is to find and promote the best and most cost effective way to breed fish far from the ocean in environmentally sustainable ways. It will take the guesswork out of aquaculture by giving would-be fish farmers tested technology.



And it could help answer the growing demand for seafood while taking pressure off wild species.



"Our goal is to come up with an alternative to wild caught fish," Main said.



Except in a few places, fish stocks worldwide are in decline due to overfishing, poor water quality and habitat loss. A recent report said unless people act to preserve wild fish, there will be little left to catch by 2048.



And this week, federal regulators are considering tough limits on catches of Gulf of Mexico fish stocks -- red snapper, gag grouper and amberjack -- wrecked by red tide and overfishing.



By contrast, at Mote's Aquaculture Park, fish are coddled -- at least until they're ready for harvest.



Siberian sturgeons live in buildings that stay cool year-round. The pompano get sunrise and moon phases.



Snook have whole seasons, six months of fall and winter temperatures before each spawning. The picky eaters of the bunch, they also have a diet of fresh fish instead of pellet feed.



Yamaguchi, who is in Sarasota to open his 32nd Roy's restaurant, invented Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine that uses local ingredients, European sauces and Asian species.



The focus is seafood, explaining Yamaguchi's interest in Mote's fish farm.



The 200-acre Aquaculture Park breeds pompano, bait shrimp and snook. The biggest part of the operation is dedicated to the sturgeon, a freshwater fish from the Caspian Sea that is easy to catch and brings big money for its caviar -- tiny black beads that taste of fresh ocean air before melting like butter on the tongue.



"We are very interested in what aquaculture has to provide for us in the future," Yamaguchi said.



He dipped a small spoonful of the caviar collected that morning and rolls it around in his mouth.



"It has a good mouth feel," he says.



Jim Michaels, who heads the sturgeon program, explains the caviar needs a month in a freezer for the flavor to fully develop.



Yamaguchi said farmed fish that he has used in his restaurants taste as good or better then wild. The moi that are farmed in Hawaii, he said, are less oily than wild.



The Hawaiian farms are open-water operations that hold fish in cages offshore and use the swift ocean currents to clear the waste water that is a massive problem with near shore aquaculture.



Mote's center reuses all but 5 percent of its water, filtering it through small plastic beads that capture bacteria and running it under ultraviolet light to kill what's left.



What waste it does produce goes to man-made wetlands that remove nutrients.



The research seeks to keep costs low as well, so cooling for the sturgeon buildings is done with large two-horsepower fans.



The Aquaculture Park had a setback in July, when a fire took out a 25,000-square-foot building and 54,000 pounds of mature sturgeon.



"It set us back three years," Main said.



But she said Mote plans to replace the building when it can raise the money. Until then, they'll keep working with what they have.



Yamaguchi, who is concerned about the plight of fish for more reasons than most people, said that's promising.



"What I see today is reassuring," he said. "There will be a lot more fish in the future."

 
 
 
 
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