Hatcheries are designed to match the desired rate and timing of the production of postlarvae (PL). Past experience and literature reviews suggest that stocking rates of 40 to 100 stage I larvae/L and survival rates ranging from 40 to 80% are typical. Success is principally dependent upon hatchery location, design and management. Access to high-quality water supplies is critical and hatcheries need to be located where there is power supply, because continuous operation of the aeration system is essential. Proximity to the major nursery or grow-out pond locations (the market for PL) is also advantageous. However, it is possible to transport PL successfully for very long distances by road, rail or air, so this is not a limiting factor. Design criteria include the choice of the more suitable system for site condition and the planning of buildings, tanks, and water and air distribution. Management includes stocking and feeding larvae, water quality control and harvest processes.
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