Florida bass, Micropterus floridanus, is the most popular freshwater sport fish in the state of Florida. Florida bass guard their nests for up to 2 weeks, and many anglers target the prized sport fish during this period using a procedure called bed fishing. This 7-page fact sheet written by John S. Hargrove and James D. Austin and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, outlines the reproductive biology of Florida bass, the known consequences of bed fishing, and practices to minimize its impacts.
Color in fish is mostly genetically determined, but they are unable to produce red, orange, yellow, green, and some blue colors themselves.They get these colors from their food. Fish raised in aquariums or recirculating water systems without pigment supplementation in their diet will fade and lose their vibrant hues. Even in ponds, dietary pigment supplementation can make fishes brighter and more variably colored, just like their wild counterparts. This 6-page fact sheet written by F. A. Chapman and R. D. Miles and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, addresses how ornamental fish get their colors and provides a list of ingredient sources for diets that can be used to enhance and intensify fish colors.
Artemia (brine shrimp) are good food for larval fish, but they have to be removed from their shells before many species can eat them. The process can be time- and labor-intensive, especially since it is often performed every day. Fortunately, this 3-page fact sheet written by Jason Broach, Cortney Ohs, and Isaac Lee and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences describes a method for storing a 7-day supply of the brine shrimp that will allow the task to be done just once a week.
Using native animal species, particularly fish, to reduce mosquito populations is popular in multiple states including Florida. This 5-page fact sheet written by Eric Jon Cassiano, Jeffrey Hill, Quenton Tuckett, and Craig Watson and published by the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences within the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources explains how to use eastern mosquitofish to control mosquitoes. It also discusses other native fish species that may reduce mosquito populations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.