© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
The Cobia Cage dive site on Eleuthera, Bahamas.
Cobia, Rachycentron canadum, is considered one of the most suitable candidates for warm, open-water marine fish aquaculture in the world. Their rapid growth rate in aquaculture, as well as the high quality of the flesh makes cobia potentially one of the most important marine fish for future aquaculture production.
Currently, cobia are being cultured in nurseries and grow-out offshore cages many parts of Asia and off the coast of US, Mexico and Panama. In Taiwan 100–600 g cobia are cultured for 1–1.5 years to reach 6–8 kg in size which is suitable for export to Japan. Currently, around 80% of marine cages in Taiwan are devoted to cobia culture. In 2004, FAO reported that 80.6% of the world’s cobia production was by primarily China and Taiwan. After China and Taiwan, Vietnam is the third largest producer of farmed cobia in the world, where production was estimated at 1500 tons in 2008. Following the success of cobia aquaculture in Taiwan, emerging technology is being used to demonstrate the viability of raising hatchery-reared cobia in collaboration with the private sector, primarily using SeaStation™ and Aquapod™ submerged cages at exposed offshore sites in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.