Monthly Archives: April 2012

What’s your favorite type of Florida Seafood?

Did you know that Florida fishermen catch more than 84 percent of the nation’s supply of grouper, pompano, mullet, stone crab, pink shrimp, spiny lobsters, and Spanish mackerel?
Did you know that Florida ranked among the top twelve states in 2010 for fresh seafood production with over 91 million pounds harvested and a dockside value of more than $186 million? (Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

Florida  has over 8,400 miles of coastal shoreline that span from tropical to temperate climates with a multitude of productive nearshore and estuarine environments such as marshes, seagrasses, mangroves, and coral reefs. These factors contribute to Florida producing  a greatest diversity of seafood commodities (finfish, shellfish, and alligator) than any other state in the United States. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Servies, Florida produces over 80 varieties of both wild caught and farm raised products across the state in both state and federal waters both in the Gulf and Atlantic.

So what is your favorite kind of Florida seafood and why? We want to hear from you!

Do Your Homework Before Investing in Florida Aquaculture

What: Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop

When: Friday, May 4, 2012 from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Where: Lee County UF/IFAS Extension, 3406 Palm Beach Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33916

Cost: $10 includes lunch

Register: contact Pam Abbott, 239-533-7523 or abbottpm@leegov.com

Local Extension offices constantly receive requests from individuals who would like to learn more about investing in Florida aquaculture. Given the growing popularity of seafood in our diets, such interest is easily understood. Prospective investors see aquaculture as a sure thing … especially given the prices we often see for seafood in local retail markets and restaurants. Besides … how difficult can it be to grow a bunch of fish in a pond or tank of water … and then sell them at these high prices we all see?? And given that in excess of 80% of all the seafood we consume in the US is imported … buyers will line up to buy anything a grower can produce, since existing commercial harvesters and growers can’t even come close to meeting the growing demand for seafood. This just has to be easy money!! Right?? Well, think again. Aquaculture is one of the most technically demanding and financially risky forms of “agricultural” production that exists. Investing in commercial aquaculture in Florida can be financially rewarding … but it can also be financially disastrous unless the prospective investor does the necessary homework that is required to prevent an unwise investment. To learn more about the opportunities and potential pitfalls associated with investing in Florida aquaculture, Florida Sea Grant is offering “An Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop” on May 4th from 9:30am-4pm at the Lee County Extension office in Ft. Myers. Please contact Pam Abbott at 239-533-7523 or abbottpm@leegov.com to register or receive more information. The cost is $10.

Tagged Redfish Detected 60 miles Offshore

From 2007-2010, redfish were tagged in conjunction with the Water LIFE Kids Cup Redfish Tournament.  During those years, redfish caught and weighed in (at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda) by anglers aged 10-16 were fitted with tags and released.  All of the fish (over 200) received an externally anchored dart tag and some fish (80) received a surgically implanted acoustic tag.  These later tags were VEMCO tags and tracked using their underwater tracking equipment.  The

In February 2012, we learned that a tagged redfish showed up at the Stoney Point Reef located 60 miles offshore of Ft. Myers in 135 foot of water!  Based on the data logs, the redfish first appeared in November 2011.  It was recorded again in December 2011 and then several times in February 2012.acoustic tags work by transmitting a unique signal into the water which is decoded and recorded by the tracking equipment.  The tracking equipment is periodically downloaded to a computer to see which fish passed close enough to the receiver to be recorded and on what date and time.

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