The final episode of our Project Snook video series is about the future of Mote Aquaculture Research Park and fish farming in America. We get to meet the Vice President of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Mote Marine, Dr. Ken Leber PhD. He has fascinating knowledge of the fish industry in our country. He states, "84% of the seafood we eat in this country is imported." He believes aquaculture is the future. You can control the process. You have a secure process with control over the outcomes. If we don't begin to grow our food supply in this country, who knows what might happen. DONATE NOW


The Marine & Freshwater Aquaculture Research Program is developing the technologies needed to raise fish species with a high market value and/or a high recreational demand. This Program investigates a variety of marine fish and invertebrates and freshwater environments. 

This Program investigates a variety of marine finfish and invertebrates including common snook, Florida pompano, red drum, hard corals and long-spined sea urchins. The information we gain through this research will be used to produce fish and invertebrates for restocking depleted species in the wild and to meet our growing national demand for seafood.

The United States seafood trade deficit is $10 billion per year — a trade deficit that is second only to that of our oil imports. At the same time, the federal government projects that the demand for seafood in the U.S. will continue to increase over the coming decades. The projected demand will require a six-fold increase in domestic aquaculture production or a commensurate increase in imports over the next 25 years — further increasing this country's seafood trade deficit.

Growing enough food to meet the needs of a population is one foundation of a strong national defense. A safe and stable food supply is paramount to our nation's existence. In this day and age, when the security of our food supply is more at risk than ever before, it is essential that we develop the capability within U.S. borders to meet the growing demand for seafood and that it be meant in a way that does not threaten our environment.

Given that our oceans have reached their maximum sustainable yield, this projected demand for seafood can only be satisfied by aquaculture production. At Mote, we believe that recirculating aquaculture systems are one approach to the production of a safe and sustainable seafood supply.