In the weeks prior to Christmas the Perciformes Team consisting of Chris Manley (Director), Dylan Black (Operations Manager), Eric Schnatter (Aquaculture Technician), and Tiphanie Dillion (Aquaculture Technician), traveled to Ocean Springs Mississippi to assist USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s (GCRL) staff in construction of a triple tail broodstock holding system. This trip is apart of a collaboration between GCRL and Perciformes in developing triple tail aquaculture. Not only will methods be developed for culturing the species commercially but also advancing the genetics of the species. This program will identify traits of interest, such as faster growth and better feeding efficiencies, and select these traits to be improved in future generations of cultured triple tail. Combing the hatchery and grow out methods with the genetic breeding program, will create a profitable and sustainable plan to commercially produce triple tail.
The first step in achieving these goals is to construct a broodstock holding system where the triple tail will live and spawn. With the combined efforts of the GCRL staff and the Perciformes team, they expedited the labor-intensive process of constructing the system. The construction process consisted of many hours of PVC plumbing, building tank stands, and tank placements. Due to the combined efforts of both parties half of the system has been completed. Another trip is being planned to complete the system in the near future. Once completed, the already collected triple tail broodstock will be moved from a quarantine system into the holding system.
Although the main purpose of the Perciformes visit was focused on system construction, the team also assisted in spotted seatrout broodstock collection, as well as giving input on GCRL’s live feed process. GCRL has been a fantastic host during the Perciformes stay by teaching the Perciformes staff alternative methods of aquaculture and even inviting the team to their annual Christmas party.
It was a very successful trip and many friendships were created along the way. The Perciformes team is grateful to GCRL for being great hosts during our stay. Both Perciformes and GCRL agree that these relationships between industry and academia will drive aquaculture forward. This is only the start with Perciformes collaboration between GCRL and other universities. Many exciting projects are in the pipeline for Perciformes and they all open similar collaboration opportunities.