Category Archives: The Sea Blog

zooplankton

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While we’re being microbiologists, lets also explore the zooplankton. These are radiolarians, they are, if possible, even more intricate and beautiful than diatoms due to to their mineral based skeleton. The feeding manner is quite interesting: Using extensions in their skeleton known as pseudopods, they slowly ingest prey such as diatoms or other small plankton. In some cases however, they have been found to be attached and slowly digesting zooplankton sometimes 1000x larger than themselves (which still isn’t that large, as radiolarians only grow to a max of 300 microns, but still an impressive feat nonetheless)

Q

Hello, I’m an FFA student in my Vet Science class my teacher mentioned aquaculture as being an official topic in the FFA. A couple of friends and I would really like to have an aquaculture project, we’re very responsible and would do all the research, but we’re wondering what the costs may be and what kind of work we would have to expect. We are really interested in raising sharks (3-6), either Guitar fish or Brown Smoothhounds, is this possible? Sorry I can’t explain more of it in an ask.

A

I’m not sure anyones ever tried to do an aquaculture project with sharks before, and it would be quite interesting to see, but also very difficult. One problem i can see is im not entirely sure if your professors/FFA would consider this aquaculture in the first place: aquaculture generally refers to a larger scale of production and raising 3-6 sharks is more like something an aquarist might do.

That’s not to say it can’t be done though, however it would probably be very expensive: depending on wether you can actually get eggs for these sharks in the first place, getting them to hatch isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and the gestation period is between 9-12 months. You’d also need quite a large tank to raise any type of shark and in some cases they will only eat live feed, which is also very expensive to keep up.

If you’re looking to do an aquaculture project raising crustaceans such as crabs or shrimps is very cheap (however time consuming, it could take up to two years to have a fully grown culture). Zooplankton/algae work very well as well & i know that salmon larvae would probably work quite well , and isn’t all too expensive.

I hope that helped, if you have more details about what you actually want to do i’d be glad to help out.

The forgotten fish?

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Shark finning is a massive, multi million dollar industry. But there’s another fish that’s more endangered (in fact, the IUCN once described this as one of the most endangered species on earth) that’s also being killed illegally for one small component of its body. Above is the beluga, or Huso huso. Not the whale, but the sturgeon. Growing up to some massive sizes of 1500 kilos and 7.2 meters long (as one specimen caught in 1827) and living for up to 100 years it is also the oldest living family of bony fish. It is hunted for its roe. Beluga caviar is one of the most exclusive and sought after types of caviar, and severe overfishing has caused this beautiful fish to be classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.

Beluga caviar can sell for as much as 10,000$ per kilo depending on the quality, with a special sort (harvested exclusively from females at least a 100 years of age) going for some 25,000$ per kilo.

Much like the shark, the beluga is an apex predator in its environment, and it would be a shame to see such a beautiful fish disappear.

Hello again!

I’ve been away for a while now, but i’d like to start this blog up again (as ill probably have more work going into my second year ill need something to procrastinate with). So i’m gonna see what i can come up with and start queuing up some hopefully interesting posts:).