Summer Aquaculture Field Course in Panama

Course Announcement
Summer 2016
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
MES 619/MAF 519 – Aquaculture III


Field Course at Open Blue Sea Farms Hatchery and Open Ocean Aquaculture Facilities in Panama


Annual Workshop on Physiology and Aquaculture of Pelagics with Emphasis on Reproduction and Early Developmental Stages of Yellowfin Tuna, (Thunnus albacares)

Dates: July 5-17, 2016

Location: IATTC Achotines Laboratory and Open Blue Sea Farms

Republic of Panama, Central America


The Aquaculture Program of the University Of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) is organizing the AQUA III MES 519 Summer Course 2016 Session simultaneously with the 14th Annual Workshop on “Physiology and Aquaculture of Pelagics with Emphasis on Reproduction and Early Developmental Stages of Yellowfin Tuna”. Number of UM students is limited to six, and number of outside participants of IATTC is limited to six. The organizer is Dr. Daniel Benetti, a Professor and Director of Aquaculture at UM-RSMAS. This course is conducted simultaneously with the Annual Tuna Workshop at the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATCC).

As in previous years, we anticipate the participation of qualified students and researchers and professionals from several countries combining advanced technologies to improve methods for raising larval tuna and other species of marine fish. Participants will be assisted by a qualified technical staff and by graduate students from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The course/workshop will be conducted at the world renowned Achotines Laboratory in Provincia de Los Santos, on the Pacific coast of the Republic of Panama, as well as at the Open Blue Sea Farms, the most advanced hatchery and offshore marine fish aquaculture operation in the Americas.

The course/workshop will cover reproduction and larval development of commercially and ecologically important marine fish species. Topics include physiology, biology, ecology, genetics, nutrition and environmental issues related to aquaculture of pelagic fish species such as tuna, mahimahi, cobia, yellowfin kingfish, Seriola and other Carangidae. The workshop also covers capture, handling, transportation, maturation, spawning, larval husbandry, nursery and growout techniques of a variety of marine fish species. Participants will learn about the research projects being conducted by the IATTC with yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, including spawning and larval rearing. Course/workshop attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing efforts to capture, transfer, and handle yellowfin tuna. At least half of the time will be spent at Open Blue Sea Farms site off Viento Frio, Colon, in the Atlantic Ocean side of Panama.

The registration fee for enrolled UM students is $550.00 and includes accommodations and 3 local style meals a day at the Achotines Laboratory and transportation while in Panama. The registration fee does not cover accommodations in Panama City.


MES 619/MAF 519 – Aquaculture Management III – AQUA III

Summer 2016 – July 5-17

Panama, Central America

Field Work at Iattc Achotines Tuna Laboratory and Open Blue Sea Farms Hatchery and Offshore Cage Farm

Professor: Dr. Daniel Benetti

Office Phone: + 1 (305) 421-4889; Cell Phone: + 1 (786) 553-5557



Course Syllabus

The course covers theoretical and practical/lab classes on all stages of yellow fin tuna and cobia aquaculture, fisheries, physiology, energetics, nutrition, etc. Course topics encompass theoretical and practical classes about all stages of R&D, operation and production at Open Blue Sea Farms and at the IATTC, including but not restricted to the following:


Part I – Achotines Iattic Tuna Laboratory

  • Systems Description
  • Capture
    • Transport
    • Transfer From Boat
    • Acclimation
    • Tagging
  • Quarantine
    • Prophylaxis
    • Transfer From Quarantine to Reserve Tank
    • Transfer from Reserve Tank to Maturation Tank
  • Broodstock
    • Broodstock Feeding
    • Spawning
    • Egg Collection
    • Tank Cleaning/Siphoning
    • Fertilization Rates
  • Egg Incubation
    • Sampling and Counting
    • Stocking Incubators
      • Upwelling
      • Banjo Nets
      • Aeration and Water Exchange
    • Egg Counting
      • Volume
      • Fertilization Rates
    • Yolk-Sac Larvae
      • Hatching Rate
  • Stocking
    • Passive Transfer
    • Other methods
  • Feeding
    • Microalgae
    • Rotifers
      • Feeding
      • Enrichment
      • Treatments
  • Oil Surface Tension
  • Water Exchange, Aeration, Mesh
  • 24 hour light, mosquito net
  • Offshore Cages
    • Harvest
    • Cage Management
    • Net Cleaning and Changing
  • Juvenile
    • Transfer
    • Feeding
  • Field trip to Open Blue Sea Farms
    • Conduct day to day operation and training at commercial hatchery and offshore cage site
    • Theoretical and practical classes
  • Final Presentation/Final Projects/Assignments submitted


Part II – Open Blue Sea Farms

Visit to Open Blue Sea Farms Hatchery, Nursery and Growout Offshore facilities. Hands-on work at all stages of the production process, from water intake, pumping and filtering systems to broodstock management, spawning, larval rearing, live feeds production, nursery and growout and feeding and proactive health management.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Daniel Benetti

MES – RSMAS – University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker Causeway

Miami FL 33149 U.S.A.

Tel: +1(305) 421-4889

Fax: +1(305) 421-4675