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Unique aquaculture class at East Bay High School helps students pursue marine science career

Posted: 3:43 AM, Feb 04, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-04 07:38:24-05
Aquaculture class East Bay High School

GIBSONTON, Fla. — Aquaculture class at East Bay High School in Gibsonton makes a splash with students who want to pursue marine science as a career.

One senior says you can do anything you put your mind to in the marine science field.

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“Whatever you want out of aquaculture, you can do it,” says Jordan, a student at East Bay High School in Gibsonton. “Take car of the fish, feed the fish, test the water. Zoology, biology, marine science.”

Jordan wants to study marine science, so there isn’t a better place in the Tampa Bay area for him to be.

East Bay offers the only course of its kind in Hillsborough County. The aquaculture class here sends about one-third of its graduates into fields ranging from animal husbandry to ornamental fish and aquariums and even the commercial fishing industry.

“They have to learn how to raise and aquatic plant or animal from seed to sale,” says teacher Dan Conner. “And we try to replicate that as close to industry standards as we can.”

Hillsborough County and the greater Tampa Bay region are huge producers of aquarium fish for the entire nation. It makes this aquaculture class an even bigger hotbed for those wanting to swim into the fish business.

“This gives them a lot of confidence,” says Conner about his students. “These kids here? They want to learn.”