Daily Breeze has reported that the Redondo Beach based White Seabass Project had 3,000 white seabass in their captive breeding program die due to a power outage on Sunday. Their program is a part of the larger Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP).
Apparently the facility did have a backup generator or power source for the pens, but they were unaware of the power outage, and thus, no one switched the that backup source on.
The Redondo Beach facility is one of 13 grow-out facilities operated in Southern California, where fish are sent from a breeding facility owned by Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute in Carlsbad on the shores of Agua Hedionda Lagoon. This breeding program began in 1982 with the initial release of 2,000 juvenile white seabass in Mission Bay.
The Redondo Beach location releases approximately 12,000 fish per year – so the fish lost on Sunday represent about 1/4 of their total annual release. These grow out facilities are operated by volunteers – the Redondo pens being cared for by a group of nearly 30. Local fishing clubs, like the Balboa Angling Club volunteer to help with transports from the hatchery to the grow out facilities.
Anglers assist in the program’s success as well by turning in the heads of adult white seabass that they catch to be scanned for wire tags, implanted in the fish when they’re juveniles, allowing the program to gauge its success. Adult fish have been caught that were released as juveniles through the program over 13 years prior.
In total, the OREHP has released well over 2 million tagged white seabass since it’s inception in 1982.
The fish that were lost in Redondo Beach on Sunday were set to be released into King Harbor next month.
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