Successful culture of marine fish relies upon availability of high quality fertilized eggs obtained from broodstock. However, some of the most critical aspects of obtaining such eggs are often overlooked. These aspects include the capture, transport, acclimation, and spawning of sexually mature wild-caught fish. Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), also known as dolphinfish, have been identified as one of the most promising candidate species for development of warm-water marine finfish aquaculture due to their high growth rate, market presence, and global distribution. In addition, mahi-mahi have proven to be a useful model species for physiology and environmental toxicology research, specifically in studies examining tropical and subtropical pelagic teleosts. One of the keys to aquaculture development of this species is the ability to obtain year-round production of fertilized embryos. This study documents the technical methods utilized to reach a point of consistent mahi-mahi egg production year-round, while also detailing the live transport tank and land-based spawning tank design, implementation, and operation. Following three different groups of wild-caught mahi-mahi broodstock from the point of capture throughout their lifespan, this study provides novel information on growth, survival, and spawning of this species in captivity. Results from this research have allowed for significant new insights into the effects of a variety of environmental stressors on the early life stages of this species. Furthermore, the ability to maintain consistent spawning populations of mahi-mahi in captivity has allowed for reliable and consistent production of fully-weaned fingerlings of this species, thereby resolving one of the key industry bottlenecks that has been limiting expansion of mahi-mahi commercial-scale aquaculture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science