Monday, March 24, 2008


My friends at the Mote Marine Research facility are producing the best sustainable sturgeon I have ever tasted. I payed them a visit in January, and here are some of the photos from that field trip.
It all starts with fertilized eggs from Germany. I was told these three boxes are worth about 10 grand.
Here Wade, my tour guide and commercial sales liaison explaining the grow out process.Here is the first step the fertilized eggs are placed into these receptacle and the presence of motion and oxygen duplicates what the natural environment would do.The source of the oxygen, a three story tall tank is used for the entire facility.These buildings are only a small fraction of the some 200 acres on site.

Once the sturgeon are over an inch or so they are transferred to the first set of tanks.And then to the larger tanks as they reach larger sizes.The filtration medium looks like wagon wheel pasta. It works by increasing the surface area so that helpful bacteria can digest waste products. This area has just been rebuilt after a devastating fire that destroyed over 20.000 lbs of fish, and caused millions in losses.
Clean water and large females swimming in the largest of the tanks, await testing of the eggs.
Beautiful, rich fatty and firm fillet.

Over a decade ago, Mote Marine Laboratory began to explore ways to culture fish in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion, and have been developing aquaculture systems and production techniques which will produce superior products using ecologically responsible practices.

The Mote Sturgeon Program is registered with the State of Florida via Aquaculture Certificate Number AQ5268005. The Mote Sturgeon Program complies with all State of Florida, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) Aquaculture Best Management Practices (BMP). Compliance is checked via periodic, scheduled and unscheduled, visits by DACS personnel. These BMP stipulate Facility Operations, Design, Animal Containment, Health Management, Animal Welfare, Shipment, Transportation, and Sales procedures.

The Mote Sturgeon Program has a research program to develop better diets for the sturgeon. This is an ongoing process and the fish diet formulations have been modified and will continue to be modified as new information becomes available.

The fish diets being used have been formulated specifically for the optimal health and well being of sturgeon. No artificial pigments, antibiotics, or hormones are added to the sturgeon feed. It is also certified melamine-free.

Mote has not and does not intend to use antibiotics to treat the fish or to be incorporated in the fish feed.

The state-of-the-art Recirculating Aquaculture Systems developed by Mote are designed to provide optimal water quality for the fish when stocked at an average density of 50 kgs of fish/cubic meter of tank space.

Mote Marine Laboratory is committed to developing sustainable aquaculture technologies that will reduce the impact on the State of Florida’s natural resources. This technology is being shared with others so that more aquatic products can be grown with less impact on our environment

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