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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Aquatic Animal Health Research » Research » Research Project #436690

Research Project: Integrated Research to Improve Aquaculture Production and Aquatic Animal Health of Warmwater Aquaculture Species in West Alabama

Location: Aquatic Animal Health Research

Project Number: 6010-32000-027-006-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

The objective of this project is to optimize production techniques, feed formulations, feed management strategies, and evaluate culture conditions that result in optimum growth performance and overall improved health of warmwater aquaculture species in the domestic aquaculture industry in the near term (<5 years). Integrative approaches drawn from current techniques in aquatic animal health and physiology, aquatic animal nutrition and production aquaculture will be employed to help solve aquaculture industry problems including disease, low survival, poor production, and reduced profitability.

U.S. shrimp and catfish producers are seeking to improve efficiencies and expand production through the development and adaptation of new technologies. For example, poor survival due to health issues at specific production stages of shrimp is reducing production by 40-60% thus reducing potential output. The health status of shrimp and catfish can be enhanced through improved nutrition and the use of naturally occurring bioactive compounds, immune stimulants and natural supplements. Further improvement in production can be found using new technologies for production and determining optimal water quality conditions for growth. Ongoing research has demonstrated that by improving shrimp feeds and adopting automated acoustic feedback feeding systems, time to market can be cut in half allowing farmers to produce more shrimp in a shorter production cycle. The project involves both laboratory and on-farm research using new innovative production technology, improved feeds targeted at improving shrimp and catfish health, and more efficient feed management strategies. ARS and Auburn scientists will collaborate in these areas to improve the efficiency of U.S. catfish and shrimp farmers with the goal of attaining long-term sustainability and growth of the industry.