Group releasing hundreds of fingerlings onto reefs

GULF OF MEXICO — The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL), Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and Aqua Green, LLC are partnering to produce popular recreational fish such as spotted seatrout, red snapper and cobia for release into Mississippi waters.

The group is releasing hundreds of red snapper fingerlings onto offshore artificial reefs this week.

The fish were produced at GCRL’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center located at its Cedar Point site in Ocean Springs.

GCRL is one of the pioneers in red snapper aquaculture and is currently the only facility in the world actively culturing red snapper. GCRL began investigating aquaculture of this notoriously difficult species more than 10 years ago and released several thousand fish around the year 2000.

In 2011, GCRL, DMR and Aqua Green formed the current partnership with the goal of increasing snapper production and release capability. This event is one of three this year that will result in the release of more than 1000 red snapper, a major first step in the reestablishment of the snapper program.

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