Mission Bay High School marine science students finished up their “Seabass in the Classroom” project with releasing 28 white seabass into Mission Bay with hopes of helping to restock the wild population.
Seabass in the Classroom is an aquaculture program offered by Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) allowing students to raise seabass in their classrooms and then releasing them into the wild. HSWRI provides Seabass in the Classroom to more than 1,000 students at 11 schools throughout southern California encouraging students to study aquaculture in a practical setting while learning about the environment and increasing awareness about depleted fish populations.
This is the fifth year MBHS marine science students participated in the outreach program under the direction of marine science teacher Steve Walters. At the beginning of each semester, the school received seabass fry and the students raised them in their "fish room," a room containing tanks filled with sea life including sea bass, abalone, and turtles.
The students studied aquaculture by feeding the fish and monitoring the temperature and salinity of the water, growing healthy fish ready to be released into the wild at the end of the semester. MBHS students have released more than 200 white seabass into Mission Bay since the program began at their school.
Before release, students implanted metal tags etched with numbers into the cheeks of the fish. When caught by fishermen, the seabass heads can be turned in to drop tanks set up by the Fish and Wildlife Department. Researchers can then check the tags to determine the size and journey of each fish.
"This is a great opportunity for a hands-on learning experience, to work with community partners, and expose more students to marine science and environmental conservation. We look forward to continuing this unique program in the coming years," Walters said.