With an ever-increasing world population and
the wild fishery now fully exploited, aquaculture provides
exciting new opportunities to utilize marine resources while
conserving open ocean and coral reef environments. Nowhere
is this more important than Hawai‘i.
The Finfish Research group at the Oceanic Institute is actively
engaged in a range of activities that aim to solve key problems
in culturing marine fishes for human consumption or the marine
ornamental trade. Toward this goal, the group is organized into
specialized teams, each with their own specific challenges.
The Broodstock Team develops husbandry and reproductive technologies
for multiple marine species. Key successes include the first-ever
captive spawning of kahala, omilu, and yellow tang.
Eggs are then utilized by the Larviculture Team to create and
optimize hatchery technologies for growing the delicate larval
stages of these pelagic spawning species. Recent successes include
the first-ever captive rearing of flame angelfish.
In support of rearing spawned eggs through the challenging
30-day larval period, the Live Feeds team is actively engaged
planktonic organisms, including a variety of microalgae and crustacean
species, upon which larvae feed. Recent success may revolutionize
aquaculture, allowing the captive cultivation of a large number
of pelagic and coral reef species that previously could not be
reared in captivity.
Although fish have been classically grown to market sizes in
ponds and tanks, our group has also been active in collaborative
projects testing large submersible offshore cages for commercial
growout of moi and other foodfish species to harvest size. After
two successful growout cycles using a 26003 meter submersible
cage system, we are actively transfering the technology to this
rapidly emerging industry.
Since the opening of our demonstration hatchery facility late
in 2002, the Production Hatchery Team has generated nearly two
million moi fingerlings in their role of testing marine finfish
culture technologies at commercial scales of operation, and assisting
in the transfer this technology to the commercial sector.
OI’s multidisciplinary research team has successfully established
a worldwide reputation for developing new marine fish culture
technologies and plays a pivotal role in national marine aquaculture
development and marine fishery restoration initiatives. I invite
HPU students to take advantage of newly developed courses in
aquaculture and coastal resource management or directly participate,
as interns or volunteers, to learn new technologies and contribute
to ongoing research projects.