Hatcheries the next step in national plan
Kudos to the Government for including aquaculture in the recent Food Security National Plan. That said, the most common denominator in aquaculture is the hatchery, which Bermuda does not have.
Hatcheries are everywhere on the continent; without them, recreational trout fishing would not exist and salmon would no longer run. There are thousands of hatcheries operating.
Hatcheries help Mother Nature’s fish greatly improve their chances of creation and survival. They make fish where fish couldn’t make themselves and greatly bolster fish populations.
Hatcheries do not have to be overly expensive or elaborate; they require dedicated staff, some welcome students and volunteers. Perfect for all our underemployed marine biologists.
In the big picture, they could be the very best investment Bermuda ever made. I say the best investment ever because hatcheries can be used for three related, yet hugely different species of fish:
• Classic aquaculture grown in nets — sea bass, tilapia, pike, snapper, cobia, etc
• Augment and replenish — local endangered natural species such as black grouper and lobster
• Reintroduce endangered or locally extinct — Nassau grouper, Atlantic goliath grouper, hawksbill sea turtle, nurse shark, spotted drum, high-hat, peacock flounder, flying gurnard, etc (Readers note that these fish are featured in Franco’s Bermuda Guide at www.frankmaps.com.)
None of them actually exist here now, and I’m not sure where Franco snorkels and dives here, but they are all featured actors of scuba dives in the Caribbean.
The results of this three-pronged aquaculture approach could be impressive.
Greatly augmented marine fishery: fish love it!
Impressive attraction to visitors and learners.
Meaningful employment and fulfilment: a “real job” helping the planet’s creatures.
Aquaculture is now a stated national priority, so let’s overachieve.
CAPTAIN NATHAN GEER
Ana Luna Catamaran
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