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Florida’s recreational fishery has a $7.5 billion annual economic impact—the highest in the United States. In 2006 Florida’s recreational saltwater fishery alone had an economic impact of $5.2 billion and was responsible for 51,500 jobs.

Despite Florida’s status as a premier fishing location, only two of the 257 baitfish farms recorded in the 2005 USDA Census of Aquaculture were located in Florida. Since 2005 about 10 new marine baitfish farms have been added, but this disparity clearly illustrates the potential for expansion and diversification of aquaculture within Florida to include marine baitfish production.

Today almost all marine baitfishes sold in stores are wild caught using nets and traps, making availability of most species seasonal despite a year-round demand. Marine baitfish produced by aquaculture could provide anglers with a consistent supply of sought-after species in desired sizes regardless of season, as well as potentially alleviate collection pressure on targeted wild populations.

Successful production and marketing of marine baitfish will require a business plan that includes production of multiple crops through controlled spawning during the off-cycle. A year-round supply would allow marketing of cultured baitfish when the wild supply is limited so that a premium price can be attained.

Substantial research to evaluate the aquaculture potential of many species of marine baitfish suggests that some species have high aquaculture potential while others, for a variety of reasons, are
less promising. You can learn more by reading the research and extension publications referenced at the end of this document, and by visiting the University of Florida/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center’s aquaculture website: Here is the best composite of baitfish:  See The Rest 
— Even Business Opportunities

👉🏻   http://irrec.ifas.ufl.edu/aquaculture/index.html

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