Oceanic Institute celebrates 50 years

Hawaii research institute clelbrates 50 years of fish, shrimp and feeds research
August 27, 2010

Oceanic Institute celebrates 50 years

In 1960 a 29 year-old marine biologist, Taylor A. (Tap) Pryor, and his wife Karen, a pioneering dolphin researcher, founded the Oceanic Institute along with the adjoining Sea Life Park and the Makai Undersea Test Range. By 1970, OI had become a stand-alone facility with a focus on aquaculture. Breakthroughs in the breeding of mullet and milkfish started the institute's journey as an aquaculture leader. Notably, OI's Pacific threadfin (Moi) aquaculture program has seen the fish once reserved for Hawaiian royalty, return to local tables. Moi was fished out from Hawaiian waters since the 1980s but thanks to OI's breeding program, is now grown out commercially in the nation's first open ocean cage farm.

Oceanic Institute is also known for its SPF shrimp: almost all the three million metric tons of shrimp that are farmed worldwide today can trace their genetic origins to the Oceanic Institute.

Perhaps less heralded but as important, OI has also made considrable contributions to aquatic nutrition, feed development and processing technology.  Construction of a pilot-scale research feedmill is planned for Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii, which will allow the Aquatic Feeds & Nutrition Department to further its work in supporting Hawaiian and Pacific Island aquaculture and terrestrial animal farming with research to help develop sustainable and cost effective feeds. Recent research has focused on tropical by-products from agriculture, such as growing yeast on papaya waste, for feeding to shrimp, and from the burgeoning biofuel industry. The new mill will also allow scale up of feeding trials, processing studies and training. In October the Aquatic Feeds & Nutrition Department will hold a workshop on Standard Research Diets for shrimp, moi (Polydactylus sexfilis) and kahala (Seriola rivoliana). For more information, email Dr. Warren Dominy

The Oceanic Institute celebrated 50 years this week with an open day and a gala dinner

Nutritional biochemist, Dr. Zhi Yong Ju, explains to a visitor how nutrients and biochemicals such as amino acids, fatty acids,vitamins, phospholipids, cartenoids, astaxanthins, and attractants in feed, feed ingredients, aquatic animals, and aquatic biota samples are analyzed.

Nutritionist, Dr. Dong-Fang Deng and technicians Chris Harano and David Anderson prepare to explain how dietary nutrient requirements and utilization in fish and shrimp during different life stages are determined.

Visitors were fascinated to see a working research feed mill.

Related links:
Aquafeed researchers and biodiesel firm join forces to explore potential of tropical oilseeds and nuts - 06/09/2008
Bioprocessing papaya processing waste for potential aquaculture feed supplement - Economic and nutrient analysis with shrimp feeding trial - 06/14/2010
Feed mill aims to bring local flavor to Isle farms; Institute wants to increase industry's self-sufficiency with planned Hilo facility - 11/14/2009
Support builds for Hawaii research feed mill - 04/08/2006