Seabass Released Into San Diego's Mission Bay
La Jolla High School students released four months of work into the waters off Mission Bay's Crowne Point Thursday afternoon as part of a hands on project to raise white seabass. Research Biologist Mike Shane leans over a cooler that held 30 of the young fish.
"Perfect, okay, now we're going to go right up along side, and they're going to be doing this," says Shane as the fish flopped and fought to get free. A wand squeals as it passes over the metal tag imbedded in the fish's right side.
"That guy's tagged," says Shane, as he moves on to the next fish.
Huddled around the cooler are the high school students that raised these foot long seabass, starting back in September. They are checking to make sure the metal tags are still there before they allow the seabass to swim away.
Myles Dalton-Steinhardt had a completely different view before he took part in the Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute program. He knew about the fish as an angler.
"Whenever these things make the run, it's like, lets go out, lets go get them," says Dalton-Steinhardt. "They're great to eat. A cool liking fish. They're great for the pictures. They're huge. From 50- to 90 pounds."
The teenager is surprised to learn the seabass population was in crisis, and is happy to be helping them survive. That is exactly what Hubb's Researcher Mark Drawbridge is hoping for, with this hands on fish raising program.
"It's just expanding the education we're doing with this program. Which is quite extensive already, but this takes it a different level in terms of educating our youth about ocean resources."
These fish were raised primarily for education, according to Drawbridge, but the Institute also raises and releases up to 350,000 young seabass each year to boost wild stocks.