Hattiesburg, MS -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/27/2017 -- In a newly announced multi-year sponsored research agreement with Perciformes Group, the University of Southern Mississippi will develop methods to culture and breed Tripletail (scientific name Lobotes surinamensis) for commercial production in land-based aquaculture facilities.
Perciformes Group, a Texas-based company, focuses on developing facilities and protocols for breeding and supplying premium finfish for the seafood and restaurant markets. The company is planning to expand its diverse product offerings with Tripletail in an effort to meet demand in specific markets.
"We are very excited about our collaboration with USM's Gulf Coast Research Lab. This hits close to home for me as it is my alma mater, so I know first-hand the quality of research that occurs there," said Chris Manley, Director of Research and Development at Perciformes. "We are focused on our commitment to create a profitable, sustainable, and socially responsible aquaculture entity."
The research program will be led by Dr. Eric Saillant, Associate Professor in the School of Ocean Science and Technology at USM's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Specifically, Saillant and his team will work toward the development of hatchery protocols for the control of captive reproduction and the culture of Tripletail to market size alongside developing genetic and genomic tools for domestication and breeding.
Saillant has previously worked with genetic programs and hatchery technologies for a variety of marine species including the Red Snapper, the Atlantic Croaker, the hybrid striped bass, and the European seabass.
"We are poised to partner with the industry to address research that will advance sustainable aquaculture on land and in coastal and marine environments," said Dr. Kelly Lucas, Director of USM's Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center. "With over 100,000 square feet of facility space dedicated to recirculating aquaculture and a schedule to double this space in 2018, our research faculty and staff are well positioned to help the industry continue to develop sustainable aquaculture products and practices."
Perciformes Group has already established itself in creating economical and sustainable aquaculture practices. Its sister company, Global Blue Technologies, has developed a massive recirculating shrimp farm in south Texas that utilizes a zero-discharge system. Currently, Perciformes is experiencing tremendous success in culturing sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), a highly sought after fish that commands a high market price.
The company's R&D facility, located on the GBT campus in Texas, also utilizes recirculating aquaculture technology and has shown higher than expected survival rates and around 30 percent faster growth when compared to net pen culture. More importantly, Perciformes cultures fish the right way by being environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and socially responsible.
"Due to our success with sablefish, Perciformes has secured a site in Eureka, California where we will build the first commercial facility which will produce 200,000 pounds of sablefish per year," said Dr. Timothy T. Aberson, President and CEO of Perciformes.
This facility will utilize the same zero-discharge recirculating design used in Texas. Dr. Aberson, who also serves as Investment Director for Perciformes and all its affiliates, stated Perciformes is currently seeking a joint venture partner by vetting interested parties that share our vision to create a sustainable, high quality product to fulfill market needs year round.
"This is another excellent example of USM's collaborative efforts with industry partners to leverage the University's research expertise and infrastructure to enhance products and services that will be launched into the market and made available for the public benefit," said Chase Kasper, Assistant Vice President for Research, technology Transfer and Corporate Relations at USM. "We are excited by Perciformes' commitment to advance sustainable aquaculture technologies."
USM's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is a part of USM's School of Ocean Science and Technology that focuses on marine and coastal research. Located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, GCRL has approximately 200 faculty, researchers, graduate students, and support staff.
GCRL's Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center has worked with a variety of finfish and shellfish species including, but not limited to, shrimp, blue crab, red snapper, Atlantic croaker, speckled trout, cobia, and oysters.
For more information about the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, visit http://gcrl.usm.edu.
For more information about Perciformes Group, visit http://www.perciformesgroup.com/
For more information about USM research, visit http://home.usm.edu/research.