This fall the Cape Eleuthera Institute installed a new shark-resistant netting called PREDATOR-X on CEI’s off-shore aquaculture cage. The netting was developed in partnership with NET Systems, Inc., and DSM Dyneema. This video provides an inside look at the research and development process, as well as the installation.
On Friday, January 27th half a million eggs arrived from Miami, Florida! They were placed in an incubation tank, where they hatched early Saturday morning. To the naked eye they looked like pieces of rosemary floating in the water. But under the microscope you could see the egg sack that was encased around the head and the tail was sticking out. The bottom of the tank was siphoned in order to get rid of the unhatched eggs and dead larvae. This is very important because if they were left in the tank bacteria can grow, which can kill the larvae. After determining how many larvae were alive, they were then transferred into six larval rearing tanks. They will obtain their food from their egg sack for three days. Cobia develop after they hatch, which means their mouths are very small and in turn can only eat rotifers for the first couple of weeks. They will eat enriched rotifers for about three weeks and then move onto eating artemia for another 45 days. Once they start growing more we will be able to wean them onto dry food and then eventually bring them out to the offshore cage that is fitted with shark resistant netting that was donated by DSM Dyneema!
After a year and a half of trial and error CEI’s aquaculture cage has been refitted with shark resistant netting! Last Wednesday the aquaculture team, along with help from the majority of CEI, successfully installed this newly developed netting. Sharks biting holes in the netting has been the greatest hurdle that the aquaculture program has come across while trying to demonstrate the feasibility of aquaculture in The Bahamas. Previous growouts have failed due to escapements through holes that sharks had bit in the netting. The new netting was donated by the life materials company, DSM and the net manufacturing company, Net Systems. This is the first time this type of netting has ever been used on a SeaStation and the first test run will begin in February when 5,000 cobia will be stocked in the offshore pen. This will be the third time fish have been stocked in the offshore cage and fingers crossed, the first time the netting will be shark resistant.