Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Protecting and enhancing commercial and recreational fishing in South Mississippi; advancing the study of aquaculture around the world.

NEWS!, January 25, 2013 - WLOX story on the release of 600 juvenille red snapper on reef south of Horn Island.

The 25 million dollar Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center (CMAC), located at the Cedar Point research site in Ocean Springs, houses GCRL’s marine aquaculture research and graduate education programs.

More than 20 leaders in the field work to improve aquaculture technology and methodologies. The facility employs cutting-edge technology, peer-reviewed research, and hands-on testing to grow fish in an environmentally responsible and economically feasible manner. Research is funded through partnerships with state and federal agencies, as well as by private companies.

The Visitor’s Center provides an overview of the CMAC’s state of the art spotted sea trout breeding facility. Private tours are available by request.

Lyman Fish Hatchery

The Lyman Fish Hatchery in North Gulfport houses the GCRL Striped Bass Restoration Project. GCRL scientists have worked in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) since 1967 to replenish the coastal striped bass population since. More than 14 million striped bass have been released into Mississippi rivers and striped bass are caught regularly by recreational anglers.

GCRL-East Beach

The blue crab program and research on aquaculture related diseases are conducted at GCRL's East Beach site.

This was the original site of GCRL’s aquaculture department. After many projects sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the decision was made to move much of the research to the CMAC at Cedar Point.

Center for Marine Aquaculture - Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

The Marine Acquaculture center works with five species.

Blue crab aquaculture at GCRL

Blue Crab

Red snapper at Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Red Snapper


Shrimp raised at Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Marine Shrimp

Speckled Trout at Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Spotted Seatrout


Striped bass, stripers, rockfish at Red snapper at Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Striped Bass