SCORE Partners & Species

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NOAA Aquaculture

























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SCORE Research Projects

Developing a reliable stock enhancement technology

SCORE projects are focused on quantifying the effects of stock-enhancement management strategies designed to enhance fishery yields in coastal systems of the USA. SCORE research addresses a "logical tree" of critical uncertainties about the effects and effectiveness of stocking hatchery-reared fishes and invertebrates into the sea to increase abundance and replenish depleted stocks. Experiments are applied systematically, evaluating hypotheses and sub-hypotheses about stocking effects that generally have been left unanswered, impeding progress in this field. Developing the full potential of stock enhancement requires collaborations, to involve the many disciplines of science that come into play with this fishery management strategy.

A variety of projects are needed to resolve key issues and bottlenecks in this field. The principal issues need to be addressed to understand and manage stock enhancement potential.

SCORE Research Topics

  • Planning stock enhancement research
  • Developing aquaculture technology
    • Controlled maturation and spawning
    • Larval rearing
    • Nursery to release size
    • Nutrition
    • Acclimation in the hatchery
  • Transport techniques
    • Harvest and transport stress
  • Identifying hatchery fish
    • Adapting coded wire tags and elastomer implants: tag retention
    • Tag effects on survival: internal vs an external
    • Genetic fingerprinting (microsatellite DNA)
  • Pilot releases to evaluate release strategies
    • Size at release effects, optimal size at release
    • Release habitat effects
    • In-situ acclimation at release sites
  • Population models
    • Modeling stock enhancement effect
  • Conserving genetic diversity
    • Establishing genetic protocols to conserve genetics of wild stocks
  • Conserving health
    • Understanding risk of diseases and parasites and preventing disease transfer
  • Monitoring stocked fish
    • Survival of stocked fish: initial (sonics) and long term (recapture rates over time)
    • Recruitment to nursery habitats
    • Dispersal after release
    • Recruitment to fisheries
    • Angler involvement in recovering data: fin-clip system for retrieving genetic info
  • Ecological interactions
    • Density-dependent displacement of wild fish by hatchery fish / hatchery fish by wild fish
    • Cannibalism effects on wild fish
  • Habitat selection
    • Movement patterns of wild and hatchery fish
    • Contribution of nursery habitats to subsequent recruitment to spawning stocks
  • Economic effectiveness of stock enhancement
    • Economic efficiency of release strategies

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