Myxosporidiosis (Myxozoan Infections) in Warmwater Fish

This 8-page publication written by Justin Stilwell and Roy P. E. Yanong and published by the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation discusses myxozoans (multi-celled parasites of marine and freshwater invertebrates and fishes). It provides examples of myxozoans that infect aquarium and warmwater fish; describes them and shows their sizes, shapes, and structures; explains their life cycles and how they are transmitted; presents some methods for diagnosing infections in fish; and gives advice for treatment, prevention, and control of myxozoan infections.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa201

Oysters for the Future: Proper Oyster Culling Techniques Matter

man's hands using oyster-culling tool

The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) provides many important functions in coastal environments, from serving a crucial role in the estuary’s food web to improving water quality for beachgoers and wildlife. Oysters are also a popular food choice for people. At times the commercial industry landings value has topped $8 million annually in Florida. This 2-page facts sheet written by Erik Lovestrand and published by the Florida Sea Grant College Program is one in a series that highlights some of the key ecological and human factors important to the long-term sustainability of this valuable fishery.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sg143

Oysters for the Future: Oystering Rules, The Whys and Wherefores

Figure 3. The oyster bed is photographed at low tide when the animals are exposed to the air. These are called inter-tidal oyster beds. In some places in Florida, where the water is deeper in the estuary, the oysters always are underwater. These are called sub-tidal oyster beds. Credit: UF/IFAS photo

The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) provides many important functions in coastal environments, from serving a crucial role in the estuary’s food web to improving water quality for beachgoers and wildlife. Oysters are also a popular food choice for people. At times the commercial industry landings value has topped $8 million annually in Florida. This 2-page fact sheet written by Erik Lovestrand and published by the Florida Sea Grant College Program is one in a series that highlights some of the key ecological and human factors important to the long-term sustainability of this valuable fishery.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sg144

Oysters for the Future: The Value of Science-Based Management in the Oyster Fishery

 Local harvesters participate in restoration efforts in an Apalachicola Bay project

The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) provides many important functions in coastal environments, from serving a crucial role in the estuary’s food web to improving water quality for beachgoers and wildlife. Oysters are also a popular food choice for people. At times the commercial industry landings value has topped $8 million annually in Florida. This 2-page fact sheet written by Erik Lovestrand and published by the Florida Sea Grant College Program is one in a series that highlights some of the key ecological and human factors important to the long-term sustainability of this valuable fishery.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sg145

Preventing Escape of Non-Native Species from Aquaculture Facilities in Florida, Part 1: General Considerations and Regulations

certified aquaculture facility in Hillsborough County

Aquaculture is an important and diverse segment of the agricultural economy in Florida. Ornamental, live bait, food finfish, and other segments of this industry culture and trade in non-native species. Escape or release of these non-native cultured organisms is an environmental and legal concern in Florida and therefore a key consideration in aquaculture farm construction and operation. This 7-page fact sheet is the first in a four-part series devoted to educating industry and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing the escape of non-native species from aquaculture facilities as well as strategies for non-native species containment and regulatory compliance. Written by Quenton M. Tuckett, Carlos V. Martinez, Jared L. Ritch, Katelyn M. Lawson, and Jeffrey E. Hill and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, it introduces the series, explains why non-native species containment is important, provides information on regulations, including the Florida Aquaculture Best Management Practices rule, describes the BMP inspection process, and provides advice on achieving compliance with these important regulations.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa195

Preventing Escape of Non-Native Species from Aquaculture Facilities in Florida, Part 2: Facility Evaluation Strategies

Typical fish farm layout

Understanding how non-native species escape or are accidentally released helps producers better design and operate aquaculture facilities to reduce or prevent escape. Active management of critical points where escape is possible will help achieve regulatory compliance. This 6-page fact sheet written by Jeffrey E. Hill, Quenton M. Tuckett, Carlos V. Martinez, Jared L. Ritch, and Katelyn M. Lawson and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences is the second in a four-part series devoted to educating industry and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing the escape of non-native species from aquaculture facilities as well as strategies for non-native species containment and regulatory compliance. It describes farm layouts, explains how fish escape, and outlines a process that aquaculturists can complete to identify potential escape points on their farms.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa196

Preventing Escape of Non-Native Species from Aquaculture Facilities in Florida, Part 3: Structural Strategies

Bird netting over a production pond

Non-native species sometimes escape from aquaculture facilities, but producers can prevent these potentially harmful escapes by placing barriers like screens, covers, control structures, and ponds at vulnerable points. Aquaculture producers use these structures to prevent release of non-native species in compliance with Florida Aquaculture Best Management Practices. Further, many of the structures discussed in this 9-page fact sheet are also effective in addressing and maintaining compliance with the discharge requirements of those Best Management Practices. Written by Quenton M. Tuckett, Carlos V. Martinez, Jared L. Ritch, Katelyn M. Lawson, and Jeffrey E. Hill and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, the fact sheet provides escape prevention strategies and advice for building structures and barriers that can keep potentially harmful non-native species safely contained on aquaculture facilities.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa197

Preventing Escape of Non-Native Species from Aquaculture Facilities in Florida, Part 4: Operational Strategies

A screened basket on the intake hose prevents escape

Structural strategies to prevent the escape of non-native species from aquaculture facilities have numerous environmental benefits, and research at the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory has shown that structural strategies also reduce non-compliance with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Best Management Practices. Operational and management strategies, however, are also very important. The strategies discussed in this 6-page fact sheet, the management of water, facilities, and employees, must not be overlooked. Operational strategies are easy, inexpensive, and, when used alongside structural strategies, highly effective, offering an impressive return on a minimal investment in the overall effort to minimize the escape of non-native species.

Written by Quenton M. Tuckett, Carlos V. Martinez, Jared L. Ritch, Katelyn M. Lawson, and Jeffrey E. Hill and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, this fact sheet is the fourth in a four-part series devoted to educating industry and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing escape of non-native species from aquaculture facilities as well as strategies for non-native species containment and regulatory compliance.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa198

Technically Speaking, What Is Sturgeon Caviar?

Sturgeon caviar in a tin can

People all over the world eat fish and shellfish eggs. Seafood roes are among the most valuable of fishery commodities because they are considered a delicacy and sell for a high price. The eggs can be acquired as whole roe, (the eggs still attached to the ovary, as with mullet), or as individual eggs that may be collected directly from where the female deposits or spawns her eggs (for instance, “tobiko,” from flying fish), or by harvesting the female and separating the eggs from the ovary (as with salmon, lumpfish, and sturgeon “caviar”). The most sought-after and high-valued of all seafood roes are the eggs obtained from the sturgeon. Traditionally coveted by royalty and the aristocracy, sturgeon caviar today is prized by chefs and discerning food connoisseurs the world over for its delicate flavor and nutrient-rich health benefits. Learn what caviar is, find out how it’s collected, and discover more about the fascinating sturgeon fish in this 4-page fact sheet written by Frank A. Chapman and Joel P. Van Eenennaam and published by the School of Forest Resources Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa194

A Semen Extender for the Short-Term Storage of Fish Sperm

Male (left) and female (right) Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis.

Aquaculturists worldwide use artificial or induced spawning of fish to maximize egg and larval production from fish that cannot normally be bred in captivity. Despite the wide global use of this technique, and much literature published, the success rates of induced spawning are consistently variable. One often overlooked reason for the variable success rates is that successful rates of fertilization, hatching, and larval survival are most dependent on high-quality sperm and the surrounding fluid that supports sperm function. It is difficult to obtain consistent, good-quality spermiations (releases of spermatozoa); to keep sperm alive after collection and during storage and transport; and to freeze large volumes of semen at one time. Therefore, a successful fish breeding program requiring sperm begins with a source of high-quality semen, and its proper collection, handling, and storage. This three-page article written by Frank A. Chapman and published by the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation describes how to make and use a semen extender that will maximize the volume and preserve the viability of obtained semen.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa193

Molluscan Shellfish Aquaculture and Production

Bags of clams packaged for sale. Ocean, seafood, fishing.   UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.
Molluscan shellfish aquaculture provides high quality and high value seafood for human consumption, and shellfish provide environmentally beneficial ecosystem services, such as nutrient extraction and water filtration, to the environment in which they are grown. In the past five decades, global fisheries and aquaculture have grown steadily, and seafood consumption per capita has increased. Molluscan shellfish has traditionally been a major component of world aquaculture. Today, molluscs are cultured in 76 countries. This 8-page fact sheet written by Huiping Yang, Leslie N. Sturmer, and Shirley Baker describes molluscan shellfish aquaculture in the United States and worldwide and outlines molluscan shellfish aquaculture stages and methodologies.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa191

Candidate Species for Florida Aquaculture: Gulf Killifish, Fundulus grandis

Male (left) and female (right) Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis.

The Gulf killifish is a promising species for commercial aquaculture in Florida with the potential to help diversify the marine baitfish aquaculture industry in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. Methods for culturing this species have improved in the past decade; this 6-page fact sheet describes the new methods and some strategies to give producers greater control of reproduction, larval growth, and survival. The publication provides the information producers need to make the most informed decision possible when considering Gulf killifish aquaculture. Written by Shane W. Ramee, Joshua T. Patterson, Cortney L. Ohs, and Matthew A. DiMaggio and published by the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa190

Spironucleus Infestations (Spironucleosis) in Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Spironucleus organisms seen under 400x microscopy.
A group of species of single-celled parasites called Spironucleus cause disease in aquacultured and captive fish. Found in cold, temperate, and tropical climates, Spironucleus species can infect a variety of freshwater and marine ornamental and food fish, as well as crustaceans and shellfish.
Five species of Spironucleus are currently recognized: S. salmonicida, S. barkhaus, and S. torosa can infest marine organisms, while S. salmonis and S. vortens can infest freshwater ornamental fish. This four-page fact sheet written by Ruth Francis-Floyd and Roy P. E. Yanong and published by the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences focuses on S. vortens and its effects on ornamental cichlids, explaining which cichlids are susceptible, how to identify S. vortens , and how to confirm, manage, and prevent S. vortens infestations. (Photo credit: Roy P. E. Yanong, UF/IFAS Extension Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vm053

Carp Edema Virus Disease (CEVD) / Koi Sleepy Disease (KSD)

koi carp
Carp edema virus disease is killing wild and cultured varieties of carp and worrying koi enthusiasts and carp aquaculturists in the United States and around the world. The disease causes skin lesions and swelling and is sometimes called “koi sleepy disease” because infected fish become lethargic and unresponsive. This 5-page fact sheet describes symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and what fish producers, wholesalers, or retailers can do if they suspect carp may have contracted the disease. Written by Shohreh Hesami, Pedro Viadanna, Natalie Steckler. Staci Spears, Patrick Thompson, Karen Kelley, Roy Yanong, Ruth Francis-Floyd, Johnny Shelley, Joseph Groff, Andy Goodwin, Olga Haenen, and Thomas Waltzek, and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa189

Using Airlifts to Collect and Concentrate Copepod Nauplii

Figure 3. An airlift collector functioning properly in a copepod culture tank. Credit: Jason S. Broach
Airlifts are simple and inexpensive and not new to aquaculture. The buoyancy of rising bubbles within a pipe or tube generates an upward flow of water that are often used as part of water treatment design in recirculating aquaculture systems, but can also be used to collect and concentrate live food organisms fed to marine fish larvae. Airlifts are more gentle and efficient than sieving. This 3-page fact sheet provides protocols and designs for harvesting and feeding copepod nauplii to marine fish larvae, but these methods can be adapted for use with many live feed organisms. Written by Eric Cassiano, Matthew DiMaggio, Cortney Ohs, and John Marcellus, and published by the UF Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, May 2015. (Photo credit: Jason S. Broach)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa188

Candidate Species for Marine Ornamental Aquaculture: Porkfish, Anisotremis virginicus

Figure 1. Adult porkfish.The porkfish is a member of the grunt family, which create a characteristic “grunting” sound by rubbing their pharyngeal teeth together during periods of agitation or courtship. Many species of grunts are popular in public aquariums because they’re abundantly available, and their schooling behavior and bright colors create interest in aquarium exhibits. Porkfish also have additional appeal to aquarists because they are “cleaner” fish during their juvenile phase, picking parasites from larger fish and other vertebrates. Scientists and aquarists have recently achieved a greater understanding of appropriate aquaculture protocols for grunts in general and porkfish in particular. These characteristics and advancements have led to porkfish being identified as a candidate species for commercial aquaculture. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Eric Cassiano and Kevin Barden, and published by the UF Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, October 2014. (Photo by George H. Burgess, Florida Museum of Natural History)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa187

Tracking the Economic Benefits Generated by the Hard Clam Aquaculture Industry in Florida

handful of clams The hard clam industry is a true success story for commercial aquaculture in Florida. From a cottage industry borne of reductions in commercial wild clam harvests in the Indian River Lagoon during the late 1980s, hard clam aquaculture has now developed into an industry that is rivaled by no other aquaculture food product in Florida. Although successful by virtually any metric, the risks and uncertainty associated with commercial hard clam culture has led to the evaluation of programs that help mitigate risk, such as the former pilot Cultivated Clam Crop Insurance Program administered by USDA Risk Management Agency. All of this alludes to the economic importance of the hard clam culture industry which, through the cultivation process and sales of products, generates local income and taxes, creates jobs and businesses, and draws new money into the local economy, as cultured hard clams are sold to non-residents and buyers outside the region and state. This 6-page fact sheet provides an overview of a recent study by the University of Florida to provide an estimate of the impact of the hard clam industry to the Florida economy. Written by Charles Adams, Leslie Sturmer, and Alan Hodges, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, October 2014. (UF/IFAS photo by Tom Wright)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe961

A Practical Guide for Aquaponics as an Alternative Enterprise

Figure 1. Aquaponic media filled bench bed (left) floating raft system (right) and recirculating tanks and filters (top) at Green Acre Aquaponics, Brooksville, FL.Aquaponics is an intensive sustainable agricultural production system that connects hydroponic and aquaculture systems to produce multiple cash crops with reduced water and fertilizer inputs. It is highly suited for small farm producers targeting local markets and agritourism opportunities. This 10-page fact sheet was written by Richard Tyson and Eric Simonne, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1252

Waterhyacinth: Florida's Worst Floating Weed

Figure 1.  Inflorescence of waterhyacinth Credit: Lyn Gettys, UF/IFASWaterhyacinth is one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds and is Florida’s most intensively managed floating plant. Dense mats formed by this species interfere with human uses of water bodies and disrupt ecosystems by preventing penetration of light and oxygen into the water column. This attractive, free-floating aquatic plant grows throughout the year in southern Florida but often dies back during the winter in the northern parts of the state. Waterhyacinth is cultivated as a water garden and pond plant, but cultivation, sale, and possession of this noxious weed is prohibited in Florida. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Lyn A. Gettys, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag385

Grass Carp, the White Amur: Ctenopharyngodon idella Cuvier and Valenciennes (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae: Squaliobarbinae)

Figure 7. Adult grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella Val.The grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella Cuvier and Valenciennes, was imported to the U.S. in 1963 as a biological control agent for hydrilla (Hydrilla verticilliata (L.f.) Royle) and other aquatic plants. Concerns of escape and reproduction, and the potential impacts that colonization of the fish could have on native flora and fauna led to research that developed a non-reproductive fish, which was equally effective in controlling hydrilla. In the warm waters of Florida, with abundant food, grass carp grow quickly at around 2 lbs/month or 0.91 kg/month and may achieve weights of 97 lbs (44 kg). Younger fish and female fish grow faster than older or male fish. Grass carp are the most effective biological control tool that has been identified for hydrilla. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Emma N.I. Weeks and Jeffrey E. Hill, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, June 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1038