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Mar 29, 2016 12:24 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton High School Hatchery Management Class Makes First Fish Sale

Zoƫ Dupree, a senior at Southampton High School, helped raise clownfish in a hatchery management class that were then sold to a pet store in Bay Shore last month. ALYSSA MELILLO
Mar 29, 2016 12:24 PM

Students in Southampton High School’s hatchery management class, where teens aqua-farm fish, made their first sale early last month.

With the help of their instructor, Greg Metzger, and the district’s aquarium keeper, Dan Elefante, the students sold 10 grown cinnamon clownfish to Caribbean Blue Aquatics Inc., an aquarium and pet supply store in Bay Shore. The fish sold for $10 each, and the $100 profit will go straight to the school’s Aquaculture Club to be used for materials for the school’s wet lab, where the hatchery management class takes place.

Mr. Elefante said earlier this month that the rate at which the fish were sold was “a decent amount more than you would normally get for this kind of fish at that size.

“But getting them from us … they don’t have to deal with parasites,” he added about the buyer. “So, they are able to give us a bit more for any fish raised in a lab setting like this.”

The students had created a business plan during the 2014-15 school year outlining how they would go about selling the fish once they were ready, and the plan was approved by the School Board. Mr. Elefante was then hired in August 2015 to help execute it.

Students raised the fish in the school’s second-floor wet lab from the moment they hatched through to adulthood. Alex Ambrose, a senior who particularly likes clownfish, explained that the process involved hatching the eggs in recycled buckets, then transferring the fish to different-sized tanks as they grew.

“They’re very highly aquacultured fish all around the world,” Alex said of clownfish. “But what makes them special here is that they’re little nuggets, and you can put two in a tank and make each kid happy. We like to do all kinds of different clownfish, because they’re so easy to aquaculture.”

Mr. Metzger said he is proud to see his students excel, and thanked district officials for the help.

“I think the success we’re having is because of the tremendous support of the district on all levels,” he said.

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well done!!!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 1, 16 7:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
How much did it really cost to grow the fish and how many students benefited from the experience. What else do the adults do in the course of their employment? Other positions have been eliminated that reach out to more students than a few.
By Gene10x (27), Southampton on Jul 8, 17 3:21 PM