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Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in 1988


Design and First Year Operation of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Penaeid Shrimp Maturation Facility,  a 12-page report authored by John Ogle, describes the design, construction, hardware, management, operation, problems and first experiments at a new shrimp maturation facility in Mississippi.  Diagrams, charts and tables document the performance of the facility during its first year.


Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory heads the United States Department of Agriculture-backed consortium of research facilities that are attempting to accelerate the development of shrimp farming in the United States.  The introduction to the report follows:


“The maturation facility of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (mat lab) was designed to enable replicable studies to be conducted on maturation and reproduction of Penaeus vannamei under controlled conditions.  The specific goals are to develop maturation and reproduction capabilities for P. vannamei  in a partially defined but artificial seawater and achieve complete water reuse.  Maturation and reproduction under rigorously controlled conditions would allow a determination of factors favorably influencing production and allow development of least cost solutions with maximum production of optimum quality seed.  A review of available literature and a visit to three existing maturation facilities provided initial design parameters.  In order to provide triplicated treatments, the facility was designed to house six tanks.  A tank diameter of 12 feet was selected as the minimum acceptable size.  Each tank was provided a separate filter.  An attempt was made to reduce noise, vibration and uncontrolled light infiltration.  The architect was given the directive to eliminate all metal from the facility and to provide a constant temperature of 28°C.”


“Construction began on February 1, 1986, and the building was accepted in June 1986.  Tank assembly, filter construction and all seawater plumbing systems were accomplished in-house by January 1987.  Broodstock were obtained from three sources: animals purchased as postlarvae in June 1985 and reared at GCRL, animals purchased from Laguna Madre Shrimp Farm and adults purchased from Agromarina de Panama.  All animals were tagged according to the method of Yano....  The first experiment comparing artificial seawater with natural seawater was begun March 1987 utilizing all six tanks.  Surviving animals were restocked into four tanks in June 1987 and the effect of supplemental filtration recorded.  Starting in August, animals in the four tanks were fed bloodworms from two sources.  In November, surviving animals were restocked into one tank and production noted.  In January 1988, the activated carbon was removed from the system and production noted until March 1988.”


Sources: 1. Design and First Year Operation of the GCRL Penaeid Shrimp Maturation Facility (rough draft #1).  John Ogle (Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, 1-601-875-2244).  April 1988.  2. Reviewed and Updated by Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, June 2, 2017.

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