Aquaculture Program

Pilot Commercial Scale Hatchery/Nursery System

A reliable, cost-effective source of juvenile fish (fingerlings) is needed to support growout operations. Under support by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a pilot commercial scale marine fish hatchery/nursery was established at UNCW that supplies fingerlings to start-up commercial operations and serves as a basis for developing economic models of marine finfish fingerling production based on engineering and biological data from the operation of the pilot facility.  The nursery system consists of three rows of insulated nursery tanks (NTs); one row of four 950-L (small) NTs, one row of six 2,100-L (medium) NTs, and one row of four 4,980-L (large) NTs.  The nursery facility has a total volume of 36,320-L, sufficient to raise approximately 70,000 black sea bass to the 1- to 5-g advanced fingerling stage.

NCBC logo.

NCBC nursery system
Black sea bass in commercial scale nursery tank.

Pat feeds black sea bass in nursery system
Patrick Carroll feeds black sea bass in nursery tank.

NCBC nursery system
 Nursery system supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Pat Carroll with NCBC nursery
 Pilot commercial scale nursery tanks.  Pat Carroll faces a 2,100-L unit. 

Walker Wright-Moore and Amanda Myers sample nursery black sea bass
Walker Wright-Moore and Amanda Myers sampling juvenile black sea bass.

Juvenile black sea bass
Juvenile black sea bass.

Wade and Patrick check NTs
Wade and Patrick check NTs.

Black sea bass juveniles in NTs.
Black sea bass juveniles in NTs

Harvesting advanced black sea bass fingerlings for transport to growout farm.
Harvesting advanced black sea bass fingerlings for transport to growout farm.

Loading fingerlings for live transport to growout farm.
Loading fingerlings for live transport to growout farm.