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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Effort to raise juvenile halibut on land successful  (อ่าน 3279 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: เมษายน 13, 2007, 09:49:12 PM »

Source: Ellsworth American  World News    13/04/2007 15:32:47

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Letitia Baldwin

 



Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Operations Manager Nick Brown (right) and James Cameron, a University of Maine graduate student, strip eggs from a female halibut to spawn new halibut fry.—PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTER FOR COOPERATIVE AQUACULTURE

 

University of Maine researchers have successfully hatched and reared juvenile Atlantic halibut.

 

Now, as Maine’s wild fisheries are further depleted and restricted, the scientists and their business partner are ready to raise the darkish brown flatfish to market size and test whether land-based halibut farming is a viable seafood enterprise.

 



Maine Halibut Farms President Alan Spear helps grade thousands of juvenile halibut being moved to recirculated-seawater tanks at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin.—STAFF PHOTO BY LETITIA BALDIN

 

 

Last week, UMaine staff and Maine Halibut Farms President Alan Spear were busily grading and moving thousands of juvenile halibut from the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research’s nursery to recirculated-seawater tanks where the fish will be grown to 2 to 10 pounds.

 

Some halibut already were marketed last year to notable Maine restaurants such as Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth and Fore Street restaurant in Portland.

 

Nick Brown, operations manager of the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR), and staff were also closely monitoring and collecting eggs from Lana, Wanda, Daisy, Neissa, Sylvia, Violet and other spawning female halibuts housed in 21-foot-round brood tanks fabricated locally by Tom St. Claire of Sullivan Plastic Products. The breeding season runs from mid-February through May.

 



Juvenile halibut (below) swiming around in tight quarters.—STAFF PHOTO BY LETITIA BALDIN

 

“We only expected to rear a few thousand fish, but these systems were so successful, we wound up with 25,000 fish last year. This bodes very well for the future because our building was designed to rear 100,000 juveniles at expected survival rates,” Brown related last Friday.

 

He ran a successful halibut farm in Digby, Nova Scotia, before being hired six years ago to manage the applied research facility on Taunton Bay.

 

“We have shown we can produce the fish and we are now building the grow-out systems,” he said.

 

In 1999, UMaine purchased an existing Franklin salmon farm and established the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research. CCAR’s mission is to explore new marine species and develop related technology to enhance and expand the Maine aquaculture industry. Sea urchins are among the other sea creatures being studied there.

 

“Seafood consumption is increasing in the U.S. Yet, 70 percent is imported. The trade deficit on seafood is $8.2 billion,” Brown noted. “Half of the seafood we consume is aquaculture-produced or could be. Clearly, we want to increase domestic production of aquaculture products.”

 

Once a grow-out system has been developed in Franklin, Maine Halibut Farms aims to start a land-based commercial venture in the Gouldsboro village of Corea as part of the new Gulf of Maine Aquaculture Business Park envisioned at the former U.S. Navy communications center. The Holden-based company would be one of as many as 10 corporate tenants engaged in fishing-farming and other aquaculture activities on site.

 

Acadia Capital Corp., an affiliate of Eastern Maine Development Corp. (EMDC), owns 40 acres on the 450-acre property vacated by the U.S Department of Defense in 2002. ACC secured a $335,700 Community Development Block Grant last year, but is still awaiting word on a $450,000 grant, which would furnish matching funds, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

John Holden, director of business development at EMDC, is hopeful he’ll get answer this spring.

 

“Until they get their federal allocation,” Holden said Monday, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “they can’t make any decisions.”
 


Source or related URL: http://ellsworthmaine.com

 
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