DelmarvaAquatics became an independent business in 1991, as an offshoot of the Delmarva Ecological Laboratory. Aquaculture activities of the Ecological Laboratory began in 1976 and were dominated by research, production and stocking of striped bass and original cross hybrids during the 1980's. In fact, the laboratory's 1978 crop of hybrid striped bass may have been the first non -government production of this fish in the United States. By 1980, annual production of pure and hybrid striped bass was in excess of 20 million five day fry. Most of the fry where pure striped bass used in federal and state programs to rehabilitate depleted Atlantic coast stocks. The laboratory also investigated the culture and sale of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and minnows before its operations were terminated in 1991.
The fish culture activities of the laboratory were continued and expanded by DelmarvaAquatics and by 1992 operations included international sales (China, Taiwan, Italy, and Israel), power plant aquaculture, intensive production system design and the supply fish for farming and recreation. In December of 1998, the hatchery was moved from Odessa, De to a larger facility in nearby Smyrna. The new hatchery allows increased production and facilitates large shipments to both domestic and international customers.
Long-term sales objectives are to market most of the hatchery's crop in the form of eggs, fry and phase one fingerlings. The company does not grow food size fish so customers are able to buy fingerlings with full confidence that the fastest growing fish have not been graded out for use on the home farm. Pure and hybrid striped bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass and hybrid bluegill comprise the bulk of fry and fingerling production. The yellow perch and striped bass are among the best strains available for food fish production. Future plans include continued domestication of yellow perch, expanded production of smallmouth bass and evaluation of crappie and rock bass as food fish.
Distribution and sale of our line of high quality Koi will also be increased.
DelmarvaAquatics, through the activities of its owner, William "Skip" Bason has been deeply involved in state and federal efforts to expand aquaculture in Delaware and the northeast. Skip has served many terms as president of the Delaware Aquaculture Association, was an industry representative to the USDA's Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, served on the Delaware Aquaculture Council and for 8 years developed and taught the aquaculture curriculum at Delaware Community and Technical College.
DelmarvaAquatics provides low or no cost technical advice and reasonable pricing, because a strong, profitable and growing aquaculture community insures an expanding market for its products. The company also offers a variety of payment plans and in selected cases the option to sharecrop. DelmarvaAquatics endeavors to produce all the fish it sells. When demand exceeds supply, customers are supplied fish from trusted growers that can fill orders with high quality fish. These suppliers include sharecroppers, cooperating growers or other vendors with a reputation for quality products.