SARASOTA, Fla. — Scientists at Mote Marine believe they have found a way to keep baby snook alive. Scientist Andrea Tarnecki introduced the larva to a probiotic and found the baby snook have a 2.5 times higher survival rate.
“They can help improve water quality in the fish farm and aid off any potential pathogens that are found in their natural environment,” said Tarnecki.
She said the work they are doing is especially important after last year’s red tide outbreak. FWC officials still have fishermen on a “catch and release” rule to help the snook re-populate.
“They are a very popular sport fish, they bring a lot of money to Florida,” said Tarnecki.
Fishermen like Juan Camarillo are thankful for the breakthrough. He says the snook population hasn't recovered from the red tide outbreak.
“They used to run pretty good until the red tide got here,” said Camarillo.
Scientists said they know the probiotics are working, but they are still studying exactly why the fish are responding positively.