Cobia Fish Farm
Cobia seasonally inhabits tropical and temperate water is thus found in many parts of the world. It is popularly raised in open net cages in most countries. In the U.S., it wasn’t long since cobia was first introduced into the local fish market.
Are you interested in learning the status of cobia aquaculture in the country?
Cobia -- known by several other names like black kingfish, lemonfish and ling -- is a warm-water fish that thrives in almost every sea of the world and can live up to more than 10 years. It’s a big fish, growing up to 2 meters and weighing up to more than 50 kgs. Its fast-growing characteristic and large size makes it a possible candidate to outrun salmon in commercial success. Its growth rate even surpasses that of the salmon. The fish’s firm texture and excellent taste makes it valuable as fish food. The challenge involved in catching and hauling fish of their size makes it a popular game fish.
Cobia Farming in US
In the U.S., cobia is naturally found in the waters along Massachusetts to the Florida Keys and in the Gulf of Mexico. Its broodstock can be obtained only in certain states and some aquaculture companies. Considered as “ground-breaking” in the production of the fish in the country is the partnership of MariCal of Portland and Blueridge Aquaculture of Martinsville (Va.) to create Virginia Cobia Farms, LLC. The company raises cobia using combined water treatment and specialty feed process without the use of artificial chemicals. It distributes the fish exclusively in the U.S.
Cobia Farming Researches
While cobia farming in several parts of the world is done through the open net cage method, cobia aquaculture in the U.S. is being developed as an offshore technology. The possibility of rearing the fish closer to the market will make production cost lower. But as inland farming of cobia is still new in the country, researches are being done to make cobia farming sustainable. Specifically, researches are done to develop, among others, improved methods to rear cobia larvae and to find alternative diet to cobia’s natural feeding preference. These are important as cobia larvae need nurturing during the first week that they were hatched from eggs. And they are carnivores, feeding on shellfish and other fish. Their dependence on fishmeal for their protein intake is being criticized as an unsustainable practice.
Cobia Farming System
The recirculating system is deemed a suitable method for a cobia farm. It will make possible, in highly controlled conditions, the culture of a saltwater fish in water with low salinity. For a recirculating system, you would need a tank with a good aeration system to provide enough oxygen for the fish, and extensive water treatment system to clean the water of solid and chemical wastes.
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