Maryland Sea Grant is hiring a Professional Development and Aquaculture Education Coordinator. More details.
Rationale: To meet the increasing demands of the world’s growing population under sustainability constrains, optimization of aquaculture methods will be necessary to maximize cost-effective production and minimize ecological impact. One of the supreme strategies for large-scale commercial aquaculture operations is the use of infertile/sterile populations of farmed animals. Sterility carries environmental significance, as the infertile animals are not able to propagate and/or interbreed with wild stocks. In addition, sexual maturation is associated with a substantial decrease in somatic growth due to the diversion of energy into the development of the gonads. The period of intensive gonadal growth during sexual maturation also results in deterioration of meat quality and an increase in susceptibility to stress and disease. Sterilization minimizes energy input toward gonadal growth while enhancing muscle development and promoting the health of farmed animals (1-4). Furthermore, sterility is a means for producers to protect their valuable, genetically selected strains from unauthorized propagation.