Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2002


The development of a successful breeding program for mutton snapper, Lutjanus analis, is reported in this document, from the moment of capture through the process of transportation, sampling, prophylaxis, quarantine, and long term conditioning. This report, descriptive in nature, provides a detailed, comprehensive, and organized account of the work conducted at the Aquaculture Center of the Florida Keys from 1999 to 2002. The viability of the spawn and the quality of the seed are linked to broodstock nutrition, water quality parameters, social behavior, culture conditions, as well as techniques used to collect and handle the spawn. Among the most important broodstock management techniques developed were: improved broodstock nutrition, the introduction of neon gobies, Gobiosoma oceanops, for long term biological control of parasites, the use of artificial substrate, improved handling techniques, and improved water quality monitoring and treatment. The success of the techniques developed and implemented in this project is attested by the unprecedented results obtained from 1999 through 2002, including 25 recorded hormonally and naturally induced spawns resulting in the production of millions of eggs, fertilization rates ranging from 0-100%, and the production of tens of thousand post-larvae / fingerlings of L. analis and cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Poor water quality was identified as the main cause of low fertilization rates of the spawns and the premature larval mortality during 2000 and 2001. Improved chemical water treatment protocols were implemented starting 2002 leading to higher number of spawns with higher fertilization rates and subsequent improved larval survival, indicating that water quality was the cause of low fertilization on previous years. A successful breeding program was established for mutton snapper, with a stable captive broodstock population producing unprecedented natural viable spawns both on and off the natural spawning season for the species, resulting in the first commercial shipments for both L. analis, and R. canadum fingerlings in the United States.


Division: Marine Affairs

MPS Track: none

Location: Aquaculture Center of the Florida Keys

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