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The Web KSU Aquaculture

DIVISION
OF
AQUACULTURE

Baitfish
Bass, Hybrid
Bass, Largemouth
Bluegill, Hybrid
Carp, Common
Catfish
Crappie
Paddlefish
Perch, Yellow
Prawn (Shrimp)
Red Claw Crayfish
Sturgeon
Tilapia
Trout
Walleye
Contact
Nathan Cochran
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comments.

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Jasmine Iniguez Successfully Defends Her Thesis

Jasmine Iniguez successfully defended her Thesis. Her Committee members were Dr. Gomelsky, Dr. Semmens, and Major Professor Dr. Novelo.

The title of Jasmine's research is "Ultrasound Imaging Diagnostics of Internal Anatomy and Reproductive Organs in Adult Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus".

Photo by Charles Weibel

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Tyler J. McKay Defends His Master’s Capstone Research Project

Tyler J. McKay presented his thesis research and was successful in defending his research. His committee members were Dr. Ken Semmens, and Dr. Waldemar Rossi, and his major Professor is Dr. Robert Durborow.

The title of his presentation is “Developing a Model Responsive Clinical Fish Health Database.”

Photo by Charles Weibel

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Kentucky State University's 24th Annual Small, Limited-Resource, Minority Farmers Conference Members Tour the ARC

This year's theme is "Plowing and Planting: New Strategies for the New Norm.”

 

The purpose of the Small, Limited-Resource, Minority Farmers Conference is fourfold:

First, the conference provides a forum for underserved farmers to interact with USDA, state, research, Extension, and other professionals, to learn about their programs and opportunities and how to assess these programs and opportunities. A strong part of the conference is for underserved farmers to gain trust and confidence in these opportunities and professionals and to know how to access them.

The second purpose is to provide an opportunity for farmers across Kentucky to meet each other and to network across the state. Because of this, the conference has become the largest gathering of African American farmers in Kentucky.

The third purpose is to provide education for small, limited-resource, minority, and underserved farmers on numerous topics related to production, economics, health, and land stewardship.

The final purpose of the conference is to provide small, limited-resource, and minority farmers from across Kentucky opportunities to see and learn about Kentucky State University and to network with university employees. This also provides a forum for farmers to share ideas with the university.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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Leadership Central Kentucky Tours the Aquaculture Research Center

Leadership Central Kentucky, (LCK) is a program that educates and informs individuals of issues and opportunities for all the region’s communities. It includes several counties surrounding Fayette County, Kentucky. LCK is working to build a network of informed citizens connected across community lines. Curriculum includes education on issues facing the region, leadership development, relationship-building and awareness of uniqueness of each county.

Dr. Tidwell, Janelle Hager, Chelsea Walling, Leo Fleckenstein, and Chris Ward guided the group through the Genetics Lab, aquaponics system, shrimp, and tilapia systems. Trish Shade, President and CEO of Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce said, “I decided to tour the ARC because it is the only aquaculture facility in the region.”

Photos by Charles Weibel

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Observations Help Capture Over a Thousands Pounds of Fish

As Dr. Semmens and his crew observed production of fish in floating raceways, they observed fish from the pond trying to get inside the raceway where the fish are fed daily.

Putting this observation to use, they began trapping fish from the pond to see what they could catch. The screen at the end of the raceway was removed so fish from the pond could enter the raceway and eat floating food pellets on a regular basis.

Occasionally the screen was dropped in place at the end of the raceway and trapped the fish, then fish could be crowded to one end, netted up and harvested. These were not fish stocked for growout in the raceways, they were fish that grew loose in the pond that are looking for something to eat.

This season Dr. Semmens and his crew trapped six times and harvested about 1,358 pounds of fish from the 1.6 acre pond. By weight, 81% were channel catfish, 17% were largemouth bass, and 2% were bluegill sunfish. They now have replaced the screen with a trap like throat at the end of the raceway and will continue the effort to catch fish.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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KSU Staff Attend the Southern Region Business Administrators and Human Resources Conference

Jessica Miller, Rachel Eldridge, Danielle Barber, Nandi Thomas and Andy Ong traveled to San Antonio, Texas to attend a Business Administrators and Human Resources conference this week. They attended presentations on NIFA Reporting System, Capacity Grants, NIFA Civil Rights Compliance, Finance and Human Resources.

The Southern Region Business Administrators and Human Resources conference provides an opportunity to share information and network with other Extension and Experiment Station Business and Human Resource personnel. It provides a platform for the exchange of current relevant best practices, discuss policy changes/ impacts on the institutions and discuss other issues impacting the land grant mission.

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Aquaculture Research Center Processing Demonstration

Kentucky State University’s U.S. Aquaculture Society Student Sub-unit continues to put their education into practice with a fillet demonstration.

Tilapia grown in the Aquaponics Demonstration Greenhouse at the Aquaculture Research Center were harvested this morning and utilized for a collaborative activity with students and staff.

After watching a demonstration by Janelle Hager, students took their turn processing fish. Students learned to processed fish in two product forms – whole (scaled and innards removed) and for fillets. Staff discussed the pros and cons of the different processing methods for producers.

Students were also able to learn skills from each other, as we had many expert fish processors in the group. Finally student gained experience working in a USDA certified processing room and following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. Special thanks to Chris Ward for organizing this event.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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USAS Subunit Leadership Board Elections

The Kentucky State University (KSU) Student Subunit of the United States Aquaculture Society (USAS), a Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society, elected its new leadership for 2022-23. The elected officers are: Mark Johannemann, President; Ashton Schardt, Vice President; Oluwafemi (Femi) Adebayo, Treasurer; and, Cole Daleiden, Secretary. Congratulations to the new officers and members of KSU’s USAS Student Subunit!

The subunit was created in February 2020, and since then it has been actively involved in community service and local aquaculture in Kentucky. The members of the subunit have participated in activities such as clearing algae from ponds and harvesting fish in Oldham County; and, recently, they volunteered to assist in a Farmer’s Appreciation Day which was held in Jefferson County where about 250 people attended. The subunit strives to provide valuable service to our local communities and to engage in aquaculture and leadership opportunities at a local and national level.

Photo by Charles Weibel

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Dr. Andrew Ray Presents in Italy

Dr. Ray recently traveled to Rimini, Italy to attend and present at the 2022 Aquaculture Europe Conference.

There, he gave two oral presentations: "Non-Halophyte Plant Species in Brackish-Water Aquaponics" and "Low-Cost Denitrification in Brackish Water Aquaculture Production."

Both presentations were very well received by the audience, as evidenced by ensuing questions and in-depth conversations. Much of Dr. Ray's research is highly relevant to the European aquaculture industry which, like many regions of the world, is moving more to recirculating aquaculture technologies for sustainable and reliable growth.

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October 2022 Aquatic Farming News

Click Here To Download Newsletter

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KSU Aquaculture Assists Struggling Shrimp Producer in the Motor City

After struggling to produce shrimp at their indoor, marine shrimp farm in Detroit, Motor City Farm reached out to members of the Ray lab for help. Working primarily with Leo Fleckenstein, they have been able to turn their production around and they are now projecting good shrimp harvests in the near future.

Motor City Sea Farm said, “We finally have some good news! After working with the fine folks at Kentucky State University’s School of Aquaculture, we have come up with an economical solution to the problems we’ve been facing growing our shrimp. We’re back on track and starting our shrimp operations back up. It will take us a while to grow some market-size shrimp as it’s been more than a year since we’ve imported any baby shrimp from the Florida hatcheries, so please be patient. We appreciate your continued support and patience.”

Motor City Sea Farm is a small family owned business that began in the late summer of 2016. They are committed to being in Detroit and being part of its ongoing success story.

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Dan Moreland Freshwater Prawn Harvest

 

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Dr. Ken Thompson Publishes Article in World Aquaculture Magazine

Click Here To Download Full Article

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Andrew Ray Presents at the China International Forum on RAS for Shrimp

Dr. Ray recorded a one hour-long presentation for the China International Forum on RAS for Shrimp, hosted by Fish First Magazine.

The title of his presentation is "Shrimp Farming in Recirculating Systems: Where we are and Where we Might be Going," and it will be presented at the Forum this week.

In his presentation Dr. Ray discusses some of the reasons for the intensification of shrimp farming, strategies to produce shrimp with very little water exchange, and he discusses the research that he and his team are conducting here at Kentucky State University’s Aquaculture Research Center.

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Farmer's Appreciation Day

The Farmer’s Appreciation Day was held in Louisville, Kentucky last Saturday at Rocky Ridge Farm. Around 250 people attended the event which included KSU’s Mobile Processing Unit, an aquaponic display, a medical evacuation helicopter, rescue divers from the Louisville Fire Department, a search and rescue dog, putting out gill nets, a farm safety tractor rollover display, and Miss Kentucky. KSU faculty, staff, and students assisted in the event. For the young and young at heart there was fishing, a golf driving range, face painting, a petting zoo and plenty of food, drinks, and ice cream. Thanks to everyone for supporting Kentucky farmers and to all who made this event successful.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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Mark Johannemann Completes His Thesis Research Project

Mark’s research reviewed methods of reducing nitrate in saltwater recirculating aquaculture systems. Among the more significant issues for inland marine shrimp producers is nitrate accumulation. Nitrate is the bi-product of the nitrification process, and while less toxic than ammonia or nitrite, it can negatively impact production. Traditionally, nitrate has been removed with water replacement; however, this increases salt costs, and may have negative environmental impacts. One possible alternative to water replacement is denitrification in which facultative anerobic bacteria reduce nitrate to dinitrogen gas.

This experiment examined the effects of organic carbon sources and biomedia in in-line denitrification reactors on water quality and shrimp production. There were three carbon treatments: ethanol, fermented sludge supernatant, and no carbon for the control. Additionally, the media treatments were woodchips and no media for a control. During the study water parameters including temperature, DO, pH, and salinity were taken daily. Water quality, including nitrate, nitrite, TAN, turbidity, TSS/VSS, alkalinity and phosphate were measured weekly. Shrimp were sampled for average mass every three weeks. And at the end of the study average mass, total mass, and survival were calculated.

Photos By Charles Weibel

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Luke Oliver Earns His Ph.D and More!

Former graduate student, Luke Oliver finishes his Ph.D at the University of Idaho. Luke said, “Things are great here in Idaho! About an hour after my defense the world gained color, scent, and sound again! Now a day and some change later my mind is quieter than I ever remember, and my anxiety is almost gone!”

The title of his dissertation
is, “Characterizing Diet, Reproduction, and Fish Health Parameters Important for Commercial Development of Burbot (Lota lota) Aquaculture.”

Not only did he earn his Ph.D., he also tied the knot with the love of his life on the same day. Luke said, “I’m a lucky man! Her name is Christina, she is an archeologist for the Katmai National Park in Alaska working to conserve cultural resources.”

Congratulations to Mr. Luke Oliver for earning his Ph.D and getting married on the same day.

Photo by Charles Weibel

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Kentucky State University President Toured the Aquaculture Research Center

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson is serving as interim President of Kentucky State University. Johnson is the former President of Clark Atlanta University.

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Mark Johannemann's Recirculating Aquaculture System

 

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Jasmine Iniguez Highlights The Cover of the American Fisheries Society Newsletter

Click Here To Download Full Newsletter

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Dr. Ray and Mr. Fleckenstein Attend Canadian Conference

Dr. Andrew Ray and Mr. Leo Fleckenstein traveled to the Aquaculture Canada and World Aquaculture North America 2022 Conference in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Dr. Ray presented a review of recent aquaponics research in his lab titled "Non-Halophyte Plant Species in Brackish-Water Aquaponics Systems." Mr. Fleckenstein presented a review of recent work on the topic of denitrification titled "Low-Cost Denitrification in Brackish-Water Aquaculture Production." The two were able to network with many people and develop new research avenues, and their presentations were well attended. 

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Ray Lab Publishes Magazine Article

An article was recently published in the Responsible Seafood Advocate Magazine which summarized some of the work that the Ray Lab has done regarding the creation and evaluation of a home-made sea salt mixture for shrimp production. Artificial sea salt can be a major expense for inland marine shrimp farmers. The Ray Lab just completed a four-year project funded by the USDA AFRI Program looking at making inexpensive sea salts. The project was led by Dr. Ray's Lab and included collaborators at Auburn and Purdue Universities. Ultimately, the team was very successful in demonstrating that a home-made sea salt cost half that of commercial salts, and produced equivalent results. Several farmers in Kentucky and across the region have already adopted this new formulation.

Click Here For Full Article

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Michelle Loftus Wins Award in Animal Nutrition

Michelle Loftus was the recipient of the 2022 International Ingredient Corporation Pinnacle Award for being an outstanding student in the field of animal nutrition. Dr. Rossi, Michelle’s Major Professor was a recipient of the award in 2013 when he was a graduate student at Texas A&M working in Dr. Gatlin's lab. The award banquet was held in St. Louis where Michelle gave a presentation on the research she has done with the nutrition lab. Michelle would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Gatlin for nominating her for the award.

https://iicag.com/ (Here is a link to the International Ingredient Corporation)

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Chelsea Walling Wins Third Place in Poster Contest

Chelsea Walling won third place with her poster titled, “Implementing Aquaponics Project-based Investigations (APBI) in K-12 Extension Programs to Promote Student Interest and Understanding of STEM Concepts,” at the Association of Extension Administrators conference last week. A total of three Kentucky State Cooperative Extension posters won awards in the poster competition.

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Why the Most Popular Seafood in the U.S. Is Now Being Farmed in Hundreds of Indoor Pools Across the Country

The global shrimp farming industry has been accused of human rights violations and destroying the environment. These U.S. farmers are turning the tide.

The drive through Triple J Farms outside St. Louis, Missouri, is pretty much what you'd expect. A long gravel road winds past fields of soybeans and an occasional Caterpillar construction vehicle in an expansive meadow, before arriving at a red, metal-sided barn. But inside, instead of being filled with typical barn accouterments like tractors, work boots and shovels, it's filled with, well, shrimp.

Click Here For Full Article

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KSU Extension Faculty and Staff Attend the Association of Extension Administrators

KSU Aquaculture Extension staff and faculty attend the AEA conference in Orlando Florida. The 1890 Cooperative Extension System assists diverse audiences, with emphasis on those who have limited social and economic resources, to improve the quality of life and vitality of individuals and communities through transformational engagement and outreach education.

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Aakriti Khanal Begins Making Diets For Her Thesis Research

Replacing fish meal in aquaculture feeds continues to be a key area in Aquaculture Nutrition Research. Among traditional and novel protein feedstuffs is industrial hemp. De-hulled and oil expelled hempseed meal is high in crude protein and amino acids and low in anti-nutritional factors.

The graduate student Aakriti Khanal is starting to prepare experimental diets for her thesis research. Her research will involve a digestibility trial to access the nutritional value of hempseed products in the diet of Rainbow Trout. A total of four experimental diets will be fed to quadruplicate groups of fish and fecal matter will be collected to determine apparent digestibility coefficients. This study is part of a five-year USDA-NIFA integrated research project led by Central State University in collaboration with the College of Menominee Nation, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, University of Delaware, and Kentucky State University.

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Nutrition Lab Reassess the Dietary Lysine Requirement of Largemouth Bass

Lysine is an essential amino acid (AA) and typically one of the two most limiting AAs in aquafeeds containing plant-based protein sources. The aquaculture nutrition lab is starting a growth study examining the dietary lysine requirement of Largemouth Bass.

This repeats an earlier evaluation in which highly purified diets were not well consumed by the fish. Updated formulations use a higher basal level of Lys provided by practical ingredients and less synthetic amino acids to improve feeding activity. A total of seven diets with increasing levels of lysine will be fed to quadruplicate groups of fish to apparent satiation twice daily, for approximately eight weeks.

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KSU Aquaculture Highlighted In Frank Magazine

Kentucky State University Aquaculture was highlighted in Frank Magazine titled,

"Tilapia, Koi, Shrimp, oh my!: Kentucky’s only aquaculture center calls Frankfort’s KSU home"

Click here to read full article

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Dr. Ken Thompson Publishes Article in Ag Education Magazine

Click Here For Full Journal Edition

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Dr. Ken Thompson Publishes Article in Community Works Journal

Dr. Ken Thompson has published an article in the Community Works Journal titled,

"Students Applying Knowledge in the Real World: A Case for Scholarship of Engagement"

The Community Works Journal is a digital magazine for Educators.

Click Here for Full Article

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Mrs. Walling Continues Her Great Work with Kentucky School Children

Chelsea Walling provided aquaculture education and activities to the Mercer County Public Library Summer Reading Program, “ An Ocean of Possibilities.”

She talked with a group of approximately 40 school children about aquaculture, fish anatomy and sustainable food production.

Students also had the opportunity to see an example of an aquaponics system and do a Gyotaku fish printing art activity. Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply Sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish.

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Dr. Semmens and His Crew Improve In-Pond Raceway

The hot temperatures did not keep KSU faculty and staff from working in the ponds this week. James Brown, Tyler McKay and Dawson Armstrong worked with Dr. Ken Semmens on their in-pond raceway this week to improve the screens before stocking Largemouth bass early next week.

The screens allow water and supplemental food into the raceways while preventing the fish from escaping. They need to be cleaned on a regular basis and the improvements will allow the screens to be replaced much easier than before.

Feed trained Largemouth bass will be grown out to market size in the in-pond raceway. The research should generate data that will help grow a food size Largemouth bass in two rather than three seasons.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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Why the aquaculture industry is being so heavily funded

It's no secret that the planet is in danger. But, when that alarmingly-familiar idea comes to mind, many people probably think of deforestation, climate change, or big-business accidents like oceanic oil spills. Perhaps surprisingly, aquaculture has recently earned a place on the list of threats to the environment -- a conundrum investors are actively working to remedy.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines aquaculture as "the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms in all types of water environments," and it's a massive player in the global food supply. A whopping 50% of all seafood consumed worldwide came from aquaculture in 2016, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in Environmental International (via ScienceDirect). And The Nature Conservancy claims most forecasts suspect this demand will continue growing in coming years, as the projected world population soars to 10 billion by 2050.

Click Here For Full Article

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Uchechukwu Ohajiudu Starts His Thesis Research

 The Title of Uchechukwu’s research is “Influence of Water Temperature on Growth and Proximate Body Composition of Fingerling Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides.” The study will last approximately six weeks. He has seven recirculating aquaculture systems, with temperatures of 15, 18, 21, 21, 27, 30, and 33 C degrees. He will feed the fish twice daily at 9:00 a.m. and again at 4:00 p.m. His Largemouth bass were spawned earlier this year here at KSU. Small fingerlings were harvested and feed trained before this experiment could begin. When the fish were stocked their average weight was 6.5 grams each. 

This research will generate experimental data that will be used to create a system for feeding largemouth bass, especially in floating raceways. This approach has been especially useful when producing trout in serial use raceways and is expected to provide similar benefits for the production of Largemouth bass in floating raceways. It would be a valuable tool to the grower that estimates how much feed would be needed when it is needed, and the appropriate pellet size to match the size of the fish at any point during the culture period. This will require empirical data associated with current diets and fish stocks describing the relationship between water temperature and growth. It will be designed to grow a food-size fish in two rather than three seasons.

 

Photos by Charles Weibel 

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How chefs are being reeled in with farm-raised seafood's sustainability 

 Farm-raised fish haven't always been the catch of the day. As recently as 2017, chefs in Seattle called fish from farms "just gross" and added that they "taste bad," according to the Seattle Times. But that mindset is changing as more chefs are starting to buy into the idea of using fish from a farm hook, line, and sinker. The sustainability of aquaculture is a big part of the bait that has attracted restaurant owners and chefs. Recently, Nation's Restaurant News quoted seafood chefs and restaurateurs who called serving farm-raised fish "the right thing to do" and have restricted their menus to only offering fish sourced in a sustainable fashion. 

In fact, Successful Farming says that in the three decades leading up to 2018, the number of farm-raised fish went from accounting for just 10% of the total supply to half of the available stock. While some wild-caught species like Mahi Mah rank among the more sustainable seafood options (via the NOAA), Nation's Restaurant News lays out how advancements in fish farming techniques have put sustainability on the menu.

Click Here For Full Article 

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FAO calls for ‘blue transformation’ as seafood production swells 

 Fisheries and aquaculture production rose around 3 per cent since 2018, to an all-time high of 214 million metric tons in 2020, with a first-sale value of around $406 billion, an FAO report found.

 Nearly one in four people across the planet don’t have access to a nutritious diet. But the latest “State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture” (SOFIA) report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) outlines a “blue transformation” with the potential to take the edge off critical food security issues.

Click Here For Full Article 

 

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Kentucky State University's Aquatic Farming Newsletter July 2022

 

 

The Aquatic Farming Newsletter has been a decades-long source of relevant information to aquaculture stakeholders throughout the state of Kentucky. New editions will be released in February, April, July, and October. The newsletter will provide information on national and local topics, current research in the field, issues important to farmers, market information, networking and educational opportunities, and more!

Click Here For Download

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Graduate Student Jasmine Iniguez Presents a Poster on Women and Diverse Minorities in Aquaculture at the Women of the Water Conference in Sarasota, Florida

Graduate student Jasmine Iniguez attended the first Women of the Water Conference based on the theme women and gender minorities make aquaculture happen! The conference was hosted at the Mote Marine Laboratory and the Mote Aquaculture Research Park.

Jasmine presented a poster titled, “The Women and Diverse Minorities at Kentucky State University’s Aquaculture Program.” This poster presented literature data regarding women’s roles in the aquaculture and fisheries workforce. Additionally it recognized the current women and diverse minority groups at Kentucky State University’s Aquaculture program that perform various roles and activities.

During her participation, she volunteered to facilitate a group discussion and networked with various groups of women, including KSU Alumni Laura Tiu, who now works as Florida Sea Grant Marine Science Extension Agent at the University of Florida.

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KSU Photo Received First Place at Women of the Water Conference in Sarasota, Florida

A photo taken by Charles Weibel was submitted for a photo contest and received first place in the laboratory category at the Women of the Water Conference. The photo was titled “Scan Till It Hertz” - The use of ultrasound to examine the internal anatomy of Nile Tilapia in dorsal recumbency.

Photo by Charles Weibel

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Upward Bound visits the Aquaculture Research Center

Students visited KSU's Aquaculture Research Center last week. Chelsea Walling took the young women and men around the Aquaculture facility and explained the aquaculture research and extension work performed at the University.

Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program. We serve the students from Franklin County High School, Frankfort High School, and Western Hills High School that are first-generation, low-budget, and at risk of academic failure. We have two components: academic and summer. During the academic year, we offer tutoring every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. We take them on cultural enrichment trips and invite speakers to speak to them during workshops on two Saturdays a month. Some speakers talk about financial literacy, mental health, and motivation, to name a few. During the summer, we have a six-week program. Three weeks residential, two weeks commute, and the last week we go on a trip.
This summer 2022, our theme is “Mission I’m possible.” We want to instill in our participants that everything is possible. They are trendsetters and leaders. We believe in them and know they are going to accomplish GREAT things! With hard work and dedication, they can move mountains.

Photo by Charles Weibel

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KSU paper chosen for Editor's Choice Award in the

Journal of the World Aquaculture Society

The lighting required for plant growth in temperate aquaponics applications can constitute significant energy cost and must be as efficient as possible in terms of growth stimulation and energy efficiency. In this study metal halide, fluorescent, light-emitting diode (LED), and induction lighting technologies were compared on indoor production of lettuce and basil with tilapia. LED lighting outperformed all other technologies in terms of plant growth induction. The authors argue that LED produces greater red spectra and higher Red:Blue ratios than other lights which appears to be advantageous for plant growth in aquaponics.

Click Here For Full Journal Article

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Forrest Wynne and Chelsea Walling attend the 2022 National
Aquaculture Extension Conference in Portland, Maine

The 2022 National Aquaculture Extension Conference and Continuing Education Workshop was co-hosted by the University of Maine and Kentucky State University in Portland, Maine. Forrest co-chaired this meeting and was an essential part of the planning and program development. Chelsea gave a presentation on the use of aquaponic project based investigations (APBI) as an educational tool in k-12 environments.


This workshop featured topics such as aquaculture literacy, marketing and economics, shellfish and finfish production, youth education, diversity, equity and inclusion, and professional development. Attendees also got boat tours of Maine's extensive aquaculture industry and were able to observe oyster, seaweed and mussel farms. This was an exceptional networking opportunity and it was very inspiring to see what other aquaculture extension professionals were doing in their diverse locations.

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AgDiscovery Students Visit the Aquaculture Research Center

KSU Aquaculture hosted the 2022 AgDiscovery group on Wednesday, June 15th. Students from all
over the country joined KSU Research and Extension staff as they toured the aquaculture facility
and participated in a fish dissection. Students were able to compare the internal and external
anatomy of Tilapia, Hybrid Striped Bass, and Koi. Many students participating in the program have
an interest in veterinary science and enjoyed the opportunity to be hands-on with different fish
species.
Ag Discovery is a USDA program that provides a unique opportunity for students to explore
agricultural sciences and gain knowledge about careers in animal and plant disciplines, wildlife
management, veterinary medicine, biotechnology, entomology, food safety, food production,
agribusiness, forestry, and much more. Students experience hands-on learning workshops, behindthe-
scenes tours, laboratory and field exercises, and a variety of character- and team-building
activities.

Twenty high school-aged students participated in the Ag Discovery program at KSU. Students in the
2022 program got to explore the Bluegrass stockyard, visit an aquaponics farm in Lexington, KY, visit a
vet tech program, got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Louisville Zoo and the Aquarium of the Smokies,
and got to experience some free time in Gatlinburg, TN.

Photos by Charles Weibel

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Mark Johannemann Begins His Thesis Research

Mark Johannemann and members of Dr. Ray's lab stocked shrimp tanks for Mark's thesis project this week. Mark's project is examining the effectiveness of in-line, low-cost denitrification filters using different media types and ethanol dosing. Many inland shrimp farmers report high rates of nitrate buildup in their tanks which can limit growth and survival of shrimp. Denitrification is a process in which microbes in low oxygen environments can reduce nitrate to nitrogen gas, which then diffuses from the water. Most denitrification methods currently used are expensive and/or complex and hard to manage. Developing a simple, low-cost method may allow farmers to greatly increase water reuse, reduce salt use, and decrease waste discharge.

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Dr. Ken Thompson Presents Research in Hawaii

Dr. Thompson traveled to the 2022 Hawaii University International Conference (HUIC) Science, Technology & Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Education Conference. The 10th Annual STEM/STEAM and Education Conference promotes an academia well versed in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math and Education which is a key portion of the public education agenda of the United States.

The conference intends to stimulate competitiveness and our nation's future economic prosperity through encouraging and inspiring more of our best and brightest academics in the study of STEM/STEAM and Education fields. He was selected to present the Kentucky State University aquaculture STEM education data.

Dr. Thompson presented "Evaluating High School Students' Perceptions and Experiences using a Qualitative Methods Approach When Introduced to an Aquaponics Curriculum."

 

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Dr. Andrew Ray’s lab has published a new article in the peer-reviewed journal Aquaculture Reports. A previous study from the Ray lab found highly varied saltwater shrimp performance when using a low-cost, homemade salt mix (LCS), while a commercial sea salt mix (CSS) and 3 different ratios of both mixes (75%:25%, 50%:50%, 25%:75%) showed more consistent production. This new study more closely examined 100% use of the LCS mixture in shrimp production, along with 5 other ratios of LCS:CSS from 97.5%:2.5% up to 75%:25%. This study found no difference in shrimp production using increased amounts of the LCS mixture, low variability across all treatments, high shrimp survival and growth rates, and decreased production costs when using the LCS mixture. This study has important implications for shrimp producers, as salt costs represent a significant portion of the reoccurring costs in shrimp farming and use of the LCS mixture reduces salt cost by 65% when compared to a CSS mixture. There are already several shrimp farmers both in Kentucky and abroad who have adapted this mixture and reported decreased production costs and no changes in shrimp performance.

Click Here to Download Full Journal Article

 

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James Brown Featured in the Student Spotlight of the American Fisheries Society Fish Culture Section Newsletter

Click Here For Full Newsletter

 

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National Oceanic Atmospheric Association

Guide to Federal Aquaculture Grant Services

Click Here For Full Guide

 

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Mark Johannemann Receives Graduate Student of the Year Award

Congratulations to Mr. Mark Johannemann for receiving the Graduate Student of the Year Award for the School of Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences. Mark received his undergraduate at KSU and now is a student under Dr. Andrew Ray. Through Mark's undergraduate and graduate career at Kentucky State, he has been investigating simple, low cost denitrification methods in biofloc-type brackish water recirculating aquaculture systems.

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Michelle Loftus Wins Second Place at the Association of Research Directors Conference

Congratulations to Ms. Michelle Loftus, who won second place in the Animal Health and Production and Products category of the Association of Research Directors Conference held in Atlanta, GA. Michelle's research presentation was titled, "Use of Supplemental Enzymes in Plant Protein-Based Diets for Hybrid-
Striped Bass."

Photo by Charles Weibel

 

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Kentucky State University's Aquaculture Teacher's Manual

Click Here For Full Manual

 

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KSU Aquaculture Showcases Diversity in Research and Extension at Aquaculture America 2022

Twenty faculty, staff, and students from Kentucky State University attended the Aquaculture America
Annual Conference in San Diego, California the week of March 1st, 2022. This year was a triennial, combining the annual meetings for Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society, World Aquaculture Society, National Shellfisheries Association, and the National Aquaculture Association. Being the largest aquaculture conference in the world, with nearly 4,000 attendees from 90 countries, the outstanding work conducted at KSU was on full display! In total, participants from KSU gave fourteen oral presentations, three poster presentations, and served as Chair of five conference sessions.

Research and Extension activities in the areas of saltwater shrimp, aquaponics, fish health, fish nutrition, aquaculture engineering, Extension outreach, and K-12 education were presented. KSU Aquaculture Research Program has long been recognized, both nationally and internationally, as a leader in the field. This conference provided an opportunity to showcase just that and continue the legacy of leadership that defines KSU Aquaculture. The financial support of our Land-Grant Program, (for which we are greatly appreciative) was essential in creating this opportunity for faculty, staff, and students.

 

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The Effect of Fish Feeding Practices on Water Quality

Aakriti Khanal and Ashton Schardt have been preparing feeds for their water quality class. They will be researching the effects of fish feeds on the water quality of largemouth bass. Feeding is vital in aquaculture because it allows much greater production of fish than possible from natural foods within a pond's ecosystem. However, the nutrients in fish feeds are not converted completely and uneaten feed, feces, and metabolic wastes pollute pond water and could cause its quality to deteriorate.

Aakriti will test two diets with different lipid levels and will be looking at how it affects the ammonia levels in the water. The diet with higher fat is balanced and will not favor protein catabolism as much as the diet with low fat (unbalanced). There should be more ammonia being produced by the lower fat (unbalanced diet). Ammonia causes stress and damages gills and other tissues, even in small amounts.

Ashton will also have two diets but his diets will have different concentrations of phosphorus and will be examining the phosphorus levels in the water after the Largemouth bass consume the feed.The first diet is a balanced diet and the second is in excess phosphorus. The excess phosphorus is the addition of dicalcium phosphate. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for animals and plants. However, excessive amounts of phosphorus in water could cause explosive growth of algae and aquatic plants. This can lead to water-quality problems, including low dissolved oxygen concentrations, which can kill fish and harm other aquatic life.

Photos by Charles Weibel

 

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Team Tidwell Publish Article in Journal of the
World Aquaculture Society

Click Here For Full Journal Article

 

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Ultrasound Imaging and Histology Sampling for
Graduate Student Jasmine Iniguez's Thesis Research

Jasmine Iniguez, Jeffrey Warner, and Dr. Noel Novelo obtained ultrasound images and preserved ovarian samples for histology to complete data collection for Ms. Iniguez's thesis research. The topic of her thesis is: 'Ultrasound Imaging Diagnostics of the Reproductive Organs of Adult Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus'. A total of 12 females were euthanized. Weight (g) and total length (cm) were recorded for each fish. All females were examined using the EVO II Ultrasound Scanner (E.I Medical
Imaging, Loveland, CO, USA) and ultrasound images were saved based on the fish's PIT tag (microchip) number. A cut was placed directly above the section of the skin on which the ultrasound probe was positioned. This incision was used to identify the corresponding probe placement and ultrasound penetration on the ovary. Fish were dissected, and the right ovary closest to the ultrasound probe was marked at the corresponding probe placement with a scalpel. The length (mm), weight (g), and diameter (mm) of each ovary were recorded. Ovaries were placed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for fixation for histology processing.

The ultrasound images and histology will inform ultrasound image interpretation for evaluation of ovarian reproductive condition in Nile Tilapia. An interpretation guide will be created based on ultrasound images and corresponding histology. This guide will assist in improved efficiency of broodstock management for evaluation of reproductive condition for spawning and spawning synchronization in the future.

Photos by Charles Weibel

 

 

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Floating Raceway Design For Small Farms

Dr. Semmens crew is developing a floating raceway design for small farms and have recently scaled up a suspended design that can be constructed at modest cost on the small farm. It was stocked with 5000 feed trained largemouth bass fingerlings produced by students and staff at the Aquaculture Research Center to obtain preliminary data. We are growing catfish in our other raceways, but bass represent a higher value fish that has not been evaluated in this format. We expect there will be advantages with feeding, and management of the bass, but cannibalism and rapid fish growth are a concern.

The bass were stocked into a raceway with 9 cubic meters of growing space. The raceway frame is 32 feet long and the raceway itself is about Four feet deep and 20’ long with about eight inches of freeboard. The bass stocked in the raceway will be grown out as food fish in other raceways next year. We will assess performance of the bass in the raceway this fall.

Photos by Charles Weibel

 

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Aquaculture Faculty and Staff New Publish New Research Paper

Dr. Boris Gomelsky and Dr. Noel Novelo, and Mr. Shawn Coyle published a new
research paper titled, "Evaluation of growth, sex (Male proportions; sexual
dimorphism), and color segregation in four cross combinations of different
strains o XX female and YY male Nile Tilapia."

Click Here For Full Journal Article

 

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Kentucky State University's Aquaponics Production Manual: A Practical Handbook For Growers

The School of Aquaculture and Aquatics Sciences at Kentucky State University is proud to announce the availability of the Aquaponics Production Manual: A Practical Handbook for Growers. This 75 page comprehensive manual covers the biological concepts of aquaponics, types of systems, suitable fish and plant species, systems management, water quality, disease of plants and fish, controlled environments (greenhouse and indoors), marketing and economics, as well information on certification and regulations. It is written at a level to be practical resource for practicing (or potential) aquaponic producers. 

Authors: JANELLE HAGER, LEIGH ANNE BRIGHT, JOSH DUSCI, & JAMES TIDWELL

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE MANUAL

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Fishing is a wonderful warm-weather pastime many of us enjoy. At the extension office, we often receive calls in the spring and fall from landowners on how to properly stock recreational ponds with fish.

Pond owners can call farm supply stores during the spring and fall to find out when their live fish trucks may arrive. Fish are typically transported during cool weather to reduce handling stress. The fish are typically small and can be hauled short distances in large, water filled containers.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources no longer stocks recreational ponds, but the department recommends the following fish species to establish a balanced fish population that will provide good pond fishing in about two years' time. Bluegill (not hybrid bluegill) and largemouth bass form a predator-prey relationship where the prolific spawning of bluegill provide enough food to support a largemouth bass population. Largemouth bass consume some of the bluegill and control their overpopulation. Two years after you stock a pond, you should have largemouth bass at least a foot long and bluegill at least 6 inches in length. You can catch these fish provided they are stocked and harvested in the proper numbers.

Click Here For Full Article

 

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Dr. Ray's Research Team Publishes Research:

"Evaluating a low-cost salt mixture in brackish water intensive shrimp (litopenaeus vannamei) production systems"

Marine shrimp grow well in tanks and recirculating aquaculture systems, making them a great candidate for providing fresh healthy seafood to consumers at inland locations. However, commercially available sea salts can be a substantial expense when growing shrimp inland.

To help overcome this, the Ray Lab conducted an experiment comparing a much less expensive home-made salt mixture to a commercial product. They used five different ratios of low-cost/commercial salt mixtures, including a 100% low-cost treatment.

The experiment resulted in no significant differences in shrimp production using any of the salt ratios, and the cost of salt per kg of shrimp produced was 57% lower using a 100% low-cost salt compared to the commercial product.

Click Here For Full Journal Article

 

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New Publication on the Evaluation of Growth, Sex (Male Proportion; Sexual Dimorphism) and Color Segregation

Dr. Novelo, Dr. Gomelsky, Shawn Coyle and Alex Kramer have published an article "Evaluation of growth, sex (male proportion; sexual dimorphism) and color segregation in four cross combinations of
different strains of XX female and YY male Nile Tilapia" in the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society.

Abstract
Four cross combinations of different YY male and female Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, strains were evaluated for growth, sex, and color segregation. Red color parental strains included blotched phenotypes. The Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) was the only dark (wild-type) color parental strain. Fish of the same age and cross were stocked in three replicate tanks for four crosses in one recirculating system for 167 days. Data recorded included feed consumed, body weight, total length, color, sex, and fillet weight. YY males crossed with GIFT females (Cross 2) exhibited superior growth that was significantly different (p < .05) to other three crosses. Male proportions were 79–100%. Only YY males crossed with the LSA female strain (Cross 4) yielded 100% males, but, Cross 4's productivity was inferior to that of Cross 2. Body weight advantage of males over females was 28.7–84.2%. Color segregation indicated that red color trait in Nile Tilapia is autosomal dominant, and black patch coverage was variable. This study showed that different parental strain combinations clearly impact productivity traits, and that YY male technology combined with crossbreeding provide the opportunity for genetic improvement and development of commercially beneficial superior traits in Nile Tilapia.

Click Here For Full Journal Publication

Photos for Charles Weibel

 

 

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Kasandra Miller Publishes Her Masters Thesis in Aquaculture Nutrition

Kasondra Miller published her Masters Thesis research in Aquaculture Nutrition. Her research is titled "Assessment of total dietary phosphorus requirements of juvenile largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, using soybean meal-based diets: Effects on production performance, tissue mineralization, physiological parameters in plasma and intestine and expression of head-kidney genes."

Kasondra currently works for Dr. Waldemar Rossi Jr as a Research Assistant. Funding from the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board was provided for this research.

Pictures by Charles Weibel

 

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Dr. Andrew Ray's Team Published in Aquaculture Engineering

Click Here For Full Journal Article

 

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Team Ray Publishes Research in Aquaculture Engineering

The Dr. Andrew Ray's lab recently published a new research paper in the peer-reviewed journal Aquacultural Engineering. The paper is titled "The effects of artificial substrate and stocking density on Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) performance and water quality dynamics in high tunnel-based biofloc systems" and is the first aquaculture study completed in the KSU Organic High Tunnel facility. This study found that increasing density can greatly increase total shrimp harvest weight with minimal impacts on individual performance, decreased nitrate accumulation in the systems due to algal activity, and the feasibility of shrimp production in high tunnels in temperate climates without the use of supplemental heat sources (electric or gas).

Click Here For Full Article

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Dr. Ray Collaborates With The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

Along with collaborators at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB), Dr. Ray published a new manuscript in the journal Aquaculture Reports.

UAPB is a sister institution of KSU; they are an HBCU and have an 1890 Land Grant Program which includes an Aquaculture and Fisheries Program. The manuscript investigates the production of bluegill in several types of aquaculture systems, including biofloc systems.

The results indicate that bluegill are suitable candidates for biofloc systems and may be able to get some nutritional benefits from the plankton found in the water column.

Click Here To Read Full Article

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Dr. Bob Durborow Co-Authors Spring 2020 Article from Aquaculture Reports

Dr. Bob Durborow, Interim Assistant Research Director, has co-authored this spring 2020 article from Aquaculture Reports demonstrating that pond aquaculture is beneficial to the environment. The paper summarizes, "In conclusion, the present study contributes to filling data gaps in the understanding of the carbon cycle in freshwater aquaculture carried out in earthen ponds. Atmospheric carbon dioxide represented a high proportion of the carbon inputs, and its absorption by the earthen ponds was consistent throughout the experimental period, whereas carbon gas emissions were negligible."

Click Here For Full Article

 

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Dr. Andrew Ray Publishes SRAC Publication on Indoor Marine Shrimp Farming

Click the link below for the full publication:

SRAC Publication No. 2602

 

 

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Meet the Author: Largemouth Bass Aquaculture

Jim Tidwell, author of the book Largemouth Bass Aquaculture, which is published by 5m books in April, explains the appeal of a species whose growth is taking off both in China and the US.

Click the link for full article:

https://thefishsite.com/articles/meet-the-author-largemouth-bass-aquaculture


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EVENTS

 

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Aquaculture Online Courses

Blue ButtonFisheries for the Educated Consumer
This Internet class features video lectures over PowerPoint slides. Instructor: Dr. Ken Semmens

Pink Button Water Quality Management
Water chemistry as it relates to aquaculture and recreational pond management.

robert.durborow@kysu.edu
SEE VIDEO CLIP

Green ButtonAquaponics
This course will provide an overview of principles and practices of aquaponic production. Instructor: Dr. James Tidwell and Janelle Hager

Brown button Fish Reproduction & Spawning Techniques
This course includes recorded lectures and practical demonstration videos. Instructor: Dr. Boris Gomelsky
boris.gomelsky@kysu.edu
SEE VIDEO CLIP

Green ButtonFish Genetics
Emphasis is on practical applications in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Instructor: Dr. Boris Gomelsky boris.gomelsky@kysu.edu
SEE VIDEO CLIP

Blue ButtonPrinciples of Aquaculture
This Internet class features video lectures over PowerPoint slides. Instructor: Dr. Jim Tidwell james.tidwell@kysu.edu
SEE VIDEO CLIP



red button Fish Diseases
This course taught by Dr. Robert Durborow
robert.durborow@kysu.edu
SEE VIDEO CLIP

 

Yellow Button Survey of Production Methods
This Internet class features video lectures over PowerPoint slides. Instructor: Dr. Jim Tidwell james.tidwell@kysu.edu

 

 
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