Aquaculture America 2023

February 23 - 26, 2023

New Orleans, Louisiana USA


Amanda Matthews*, Megan Davis, Richard Baptiste, Paul Wills, Mike McCoy


Florida Atlantic University

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

5600 US 1 North

Fort Pierce, Florida, USA


FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) has successfully cultured sea vegetables for human consumption in a variety of studies since 2014. The plants utilize dissolved nutrients from the production of fish and shrimp in the HBOI Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system. Currently HBOI cultivates four species that are native to Florida: Batis maritima (saltwort) Sesuvium portulacastrum (sea purslane), Salicornia bigelovii (sea asparagus) and most recently, Suaeda linearis (sea blite). Suaeda linearis is an emerging superfood sea vegetable with a fast growth rate, robust mineral content, and high physiological plasticity that allows it to thrive in harsh coastal environments.  The nutritive content and biomass production of the genera Suaeda has been documented in several studies. However, the commercial production of this genera is still in its infancy, and it remains unclear how variation in harvesting methods may affect nutritive content and harvestable product. This study investigated nutrition, phenology, growth rate, and total harvestable biomass using four different harvesting treatments during a 10-week study period. Under the first treatment (T1) plants received no intermittent harvests, the second (T2) received harvests every five weeks, the third (T3) received harvests every 3.3 weeks, and the fourth (T4) received harvests every 2.5 weeks. The goal of this study was to elucidate the ideal Suaeda harvesting method that maximizes total nutritional and harvestable yield across a growing period.