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by Dr. Bruce S. Anderson president, OI

 

After decades of groundbreaking research, the Oceanic Institute (OI) is now working with the private sector to apply this research and is helping to make Hawaii a world leader in offshore aquaculture and sustainable shrimp framing. OI researchers are working with two offshore fish farms in Hawaii to refine and commercialize fish rearing technologies and in providing fingerlings and eggs. In addition, OI is providing high health shrimp broodstock to shrimp farmers throughout the U.S., the Pacific and Asia. These activities and many others at OI present unique internship and learning opportunities for HPU students interested in aquaculture and marine sciences.

Commercialization of Aquaculture Technology

Researchers and staff at OI are currently working shoulder-to-shoulder with experts at Hukilau Foods to refine existing fish hatchery technologies and to develop new, innovative approaches to growing fish in cages in the open ocean. With technologies developed at OI, Hukilau Foods has become a pioneer in offshore aquaculture company in the nation. The combined efforts of our staff have resulted in the production of millions of moi, a fish once so rare that it was reserved only for royalty in Hawaii. These fish are being produced to stock submerged cages off the south shore of Oahu.

Virtually all of the moi that have been produced in these cages came from fingerlings provided by OI. Hukilau Foods is now building what will become one of the largest marine fish hatcheries in the U.S. with the target of a million fingerlings a month to be grown for local consumption and export. Therefore, we can expect to see moi on the menu of most fine restaurants in Hawaii in the near future.
Shrimp researchers at OI are also transferring their breeding and production technologies to the international shrimp industry, the fastest growing segment of seafood production in the world today. The demand for seafood is growing at a rate of five percent per year and shrimp is the most popular seafood consumed in the U.S. Applied research at OI has led to the rapid expansion and dominance of the Pacific white shrimp on farms in the Western Hemisphere, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and, more recently, in China.

OI has a long history of providing selectively bred, specific pathogen free shrimp broodstock to U.S. shrimp growers. These shrimp grow faster and survive much better than wild shrimp and they dominate the market today. In fact, most of the shrimp we eat today have their genetic roots at OI. The transfer of technology to the private sector will allow the industry to grow further to meet the increasing demand so that more people throughout the world can enjoy good, healthy seafood.

The adoption and use of our technologies by industry is the ultimate in proof of the value of the work we do at OI. As the aquaculture industry grows both here in Hawaii and abroad, the need for improved technology increases as does the need for qualified researchers and scientists. Hawaii Pacific University will be able to meet this demand through the unique opportunities students have to work with our scientists and staff during classes and internships offered at OI. Successful interns frequently find jobs at OI, which allow them to pursue careers in this rapidly growing and exciting field.

More on working with industry in the next issue of Kalamalama.

For more more information visit www.hpu.edu or oceanicinstitute.org.

 

 

 

 

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