Florida Pompano Aquaculture Research

Pompano are a popular food and sport fish with great potential as an aquaculture species. They are generally a hardy, fast-growing fish with a tolerance for low salinity water. Mote pompano research is focused on improving techniques to culture the Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus).

Spawning and Feed Research

Mote’s research team spawned wild broodstock for the first time in 2003 and produced almost 5,000 fingerlings. Some of these fish were grown to broodstock size, matured and spawned to produce F2 pompano. Research evaluated the effect of broodstock diet on egg and larval quality. The fatty acid profile of eggs produced by captive pompano fed fresh frozen food versus a formulated diet was compared to baseline profiles from wild pompano eggs. Results demonstrated the need for a better broodstock diet for pompano and the importance of ARA, arachodonic acid, in broodstock nutrition. Fertilized pompano eggs are buoyant, transparent and measure about 1 millimeter in diameter. Newly hatched larvae measure 2.0-2.3 millimeters long and have little pigmentation. The larval feeding regime used at Mote includes rotifers, Artemia and an artificial micro-diet.

Growth and Salinity Studies

Mote examined the effect of salinity on growth, food conversion ratio, food consumption and health by rearing juvenile pompano in a recirculating system under low and high salinity conditions. There was no difference in growth, food conversion ratio and food consumption for fish grown in either low (5 parts per thousand) or high (30 parts per thousand) salinity treatments. However, we did find that the health condition of pompano was better when salinity was maintained at 10 parts per thousand when compared to fish reared at 5 parts per thousand. These findings suggest there is a great potential for Florida pompano to be cultured in low salinity conditions.

Pompano: A Business Model

Mote has developed a spreadsheet model to analyze the costs of producing fingerling pompano in our recirculating system. This analysis included facilities and equipment costs for growing 31,000 Pompano over a 40-day production cycle from eggs to 1.5 gram fingerlings. The analysis also included production costs for the sub-systems to produce live rotifers and artemia, needed for pompano feed. Costs of production were evaluated on both a functional and economic basis, dividing costs into fixed and variable components. Variable costs included water supply, oxygen demand, electricity and costs associated with current protocols for production of traditional live food. Fixed costs included building costs, system parts and materials, insurance, and land. Based on current production technology for rearing Florida pompano, the total cost to produce 31,000 individuals from egg to fingerling (1.5 gram) including fixed and variable costs were estimated to be $8,544.61, or $275.95 per thousand fingerlings. This model does not incorporate costs associated with acquisition or maintenance of broodstock.






About Us

Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.

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