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Recruitment of Panulirus argus Spiny Lobster to Submerged Cages off Puerto…

Award Information

Department of Commerce
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Snapperfarm, Inc.
PO Box 685 Culebra, PR 00775
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Recruitment of Panulirus argus Spiny Lobster to Submerged Cages off Puerto Rico, and its Implications for the Development of a New, Sustainable and Profitable Aquaculture Operation
Agency: DOC
Contract: DG133R-03-CN-0040
Award Amount: $50,000.00


Spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) have been successfully mated and spawned in captivity. However, researchers have had difficulty rearing large numbers of phyllosoma larvae through the many stages of the year long complex cycle. The alternative for mariculture is to bypass the larviculture stage and collect the pureruli from the wild as they drift to near shore habitats. The traditional methods used for collection of pueruli or post larvae will often vary markedly with location, season and lunar phase, and are not considered economically viable. Snapperfarm, Inc. has recently deployed two 3,000 cubic meter sea cages to culture marine fish off the coast of Culebra, Puerto Rico. Over the course of six months, the cages became covered in a fine layer of macroalgae and diatoms. This ideal habitat is continuously recruiting thousands of Spiny Lobster pueruli, of which many have developed to full size lobsters in the fish sea cages. Collecting pueruli from two offshore fish cages that have 2,230 sq. meters of surface area opens up tremendous opportunities for the commercial production of spiny lobsters. The potential of having a steady supply of pueruli will alleviate one of the major bottlenecks in moving spiny lobster aquaculture towards commercial production. Phase 1 of this project will evaluate the temporal recruitment of Spiny Lobster to the sea cages in Puerto Rico, with the goal of using these pueruli for developing commercial production of Spiny Lobster.

Principal Investigator:

Brian O'Hanlon

Business Contact:

Joseph Ayvazian
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

Snapperfarm, Inc.
P.O. Box 685 Culebra, PR 00775

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No