Cobia Production Using Novel Low Salinity RAS Technology

Award Information
Department of Agriculture
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
108 BATTLEGROUND AVE, Saltville, VA, 24370
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Steven Craig
Senior Research Scientist
(276) 496-4372
Business Contact:
Tracy Mitchell
Director of Business Development
(276) 496-4372
Research Institution:
This application describes the Phase I commercialization by Virginia Cobia Farms (VCF) of a combination of unique technologies including proprietary technology involving molecular salinity nutrient sensors in fish, use of intensive land based recirculation systems (RAS), novel dietary fish feed formulations as well as commercial production scale application of ARS scientists focused on development of culture technology for the production of cobia in low salinity closed systems. The technology will further reduce capital and operating costs of inland RAS by dramatically reducing the water salinity requirements for rearing of marine fish. The specific goals of the proposal are to ascertain the optimal size of cobia juveniles that can be acclimated to low salinity conditions utilizing VCF?s proprietary technologies for low salinity culture of marine fish. Additionally, novel diet formulations will be developed and tested to optimize dietary contributions to higher growth and survival of juvenile cobia during and after acclimation to low salinity conditions. Once size selection and dietary formulations have been optimized for low salinity conditions, cobia juveniles will be reared using this knowledge at commercial stocking densities of > 30 kg/cubic m to a size of approximately 100 g. These key efforts will validate VCF?s low salinity culture technologies on a commercial level and set the course for company expansion in Phase II and III. Our commercial effort also addresses key items in the recently released USDA National Program 106 Aquaculture Action Plan 2010-2014 including fostering the development of a US domestic aquaculture industry that produces fish in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. Successful commercialization of technologies developed during this SBIR project will solve a key bottleneck in development of US marine fish aquaculture using either land based RAS low salinity production or onshore marine fish hatcheries for offshore fish production.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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