Friday, 13 November 2009
The overfishing of Black Sea Bass (Centrepristis striata) as well as the desire to produce them at more marketable sizes (2lb) has prompted the creation of an on-going pilot scale operation at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography that focuses on investigating their rearing to meet certain market needs. The pilot scale operation is a low-cost biosolar recirculating coastline aquaculture system, in which ammonia and other byproducts are removed by an algae-based biofilter of microbial mats, followed by a fluidized sand bed, which is laden with consortia of nitrifying bacteria, thus minimizing the discharge of potentially harmful effluent to the coastline environment. The Black Sea Bass is fed with tilapia while the wastewater byproduct from the tilapia farm is used for commercial aquaponics vegetables. The used-algae is considered for the production of biofuel. A business plan is developed for the commercialization of this pilot scale operation. The plan calls for start up costs totaling US$1,661,728 and includes, but is not limited to supplies and equipment of $322,000 (for Sea Bass) and $327,000 (for tilapia and vegetables), and US$272,000 (other essential supplies). Other initial costs include building, land, monthly utility, wages, and marketing of $161,000. The 20-acres farm consists of with 12 raceways, each of dimensions 528cm x 100 cm x 225 cm. Each raceway will contain 118,000L of water and 2800 black sea bass fry. The targeted quantity is 34,000 black sea bass annually, and each black sea bass will be sold for $20 in the fish market. The raceway will be housed in hangers to allow for temperature regulation Approximately 144,000 tilapia are required for feed, in a ratio of three females to one male, and with post-stocking harvest every 14-21 days. The tilapia will be raised in 24 raceways with the same dimensions as the black sea bass. The nutrient-rich wastewater from the tilapia raceway will be used to grow highly marketable organic vegetables, such as lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and cucumber, each in compartments of dimensions 142L x 17W x 6.7H. Year one income statement projects net revenue of $1,032,000, comprised of $840,000 from black sea bass and $192,000 from aquaponics vegetables vs expenses of $1,662,000 resulting in a net loss of $629,728. Year two income statement projects include net revenue of $1032000 vs. expense of $946,415, resulting in a profit of $88.585. Year three projects profit of $715,000. Full details of the business plan will be presented.
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