Cobia, Rachycentron canadum
Cobia are distributed in most of the world's subtropical oceans. They have become a popular game fish in the southeastern United States. In spring, anglers target cobia in estuaries and near-shore environments when the fish are preparing to spawn. Cobia are targeted for sport as well as consumption, since their flesh is highly regarded as table fare.
Increased interest in the species both commercially and recreationally has created concern for the long term abundance of wild stocks. In 2008, the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery (BBNFH) became involved in a partnership effort with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to explore culture techniques as part of a national initiative to proactively manage the fishery.
Cobia were first reared on site during the summer of 2008. BBNFH currently maintains a small number of adult cobia used to investigate spawning methods and develop rearing techniques. Current goals include developing tank spawning methods for adults, refining rearing and marking methods for juveniles, and using sampling techniques to evaluate an experimental stock enhancement effort.