USC Sea Grant is partnering with Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI) and Port of Los Angeles High School to bring the Seabass in the Classroom(SITC) program to its first school in Los Angeles County. It is made possible through an education component of a NOAA aquaculture research grant. SITC is a hands-on STEM education program about aquaculture, sustainability, and conservation through the practices of environmental science. Beginning with the 2015–2016 school year, students are raising white seabass in their classrooms: feeding; monitoring growth; implanting an identification tag in each fish; and releasing them into local oceans. One unique feature of the tank they are using is it is a self-cleaning system. The program includes education about aquaculture and careers in aquaculture fields.
Through this program, students are learning about the economics and environmental impacts of aquaculture, engineering and technology, biology, water quality, fish husbandry, math, and ways to evaluate human impacts on the ocean. They learn about and test water quality, conduct water changes as needed and determine the perfect amount of food each day. The students keep a close eye on the fish for any early signs of disease to ensure the stock remains healthy. After about 8 – 10 weeks the fish are examined by a vet from the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife and, if certified as healthy, are released into the ocean.
SITC is an extension of HSWRI’s Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program, a comprehensive marine fisheries stock enhancement program. The project ties closely with HSWRI’s applied aquaculture research.
Read about and see video of students taking weights and measurments of the seabass: Link to blog
For more information, please contact Linda Chilton: email@example.com
Above and left: Students prepare juvenile white seabass to enter the new aquaculture tank at Port of LA High School. Below: Students insert identification tags and then release the seabass into the ocean.