Aquaculture Program

Hatchery & Live Feeds Production Systems

Microalgae Culture Lab

The microalgae culture lab is equipped with flask, bag, and cylinder cultures for production of Nannochloropsis, Isochrysis, and Tetraselmis. Microalgae is used to feed rotifer cultures and as background algae in "greenwater” cultures of larval fish.

Rotifer Culture Lab

Rotifers ( Brachionus rotundiformis) are the first live prey organism fed to first-feeding stage marine finfish larvae. UNCW collaborated with Amy Riedel (Aquatic Ecosystems Inc.) to "Beta-Test" a prototype intensive continuous culture rotifer system, which maintains rotifer densities of 3,000-4,000 ind./ml. This 200-L unit produces an average of 175 million rotifers per day.

Larval Rearing Tanks

The pilot-scale hatchery consists of two 1,000-L incubators for hatching eggs and three 2,000-L larval rearing tanks (LRTs) for raising newly-hatched larvae to juvenile stages under controlled illumination and temperature. The hatcheryis supplied with 1 micron-filtered, UV-sterilized seawater for maximum purity. LRTs are supported by a recirculating system for optimum water quality and environmental control. This pilot-scale facility will yield up to 25,000 early juvenile black sea bass per 60-day crop.