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Two women out on a boat collecting a water sample.

Pamlico Aquaculture Field Laboratory

The Pamlico Aquaculture Field Laboratory (PAFL) is the only NC State University field laboratory completely dedicated to research on aquaculture species. The PAFL is also used as a base for research on estuarine and marine fisheries and ecology, and for basic research on fish reproductive behavior and physiology, growth, osmoregulation, evolution & genetics.

Unique features of the PAFL include its Pamlico Sound location, offering multiple sources of fresh, brackish and full-strength (deep-well) seawater; a dormitory accommodating up to 10 occupants; sixteen 0.1-hectare ponds; a hatchery with several recirculating water systems; a 300-foot pier; and a boat ramp.

The PAFL is the sole world source of domesticated striped bass, white bass, white perch, and also has domesticated Mozambique tilapia.

The PAFL is the primary NC State facility supporting the hybrid striped bass farming industry in North Carolina, which exists chiefly within a 30-mile radius of its birthplace at the PAFL, chiefly in Beaufort, Craven, Hyde and Washington Counties.

The PAFL serves as the primary source of broodstock and the main site for breeding activities in the National Program for Genetic Improvement and Selective Breeding for the Hybrid Striped Bass Industry. This unique program is a collaboration between the Striped Bass Growers Association, the USDA, NC State, and several other government and university laboratories.

The PAFL houses the most genetically diverse populations of striped bass and white bass (parents of hybrid striped bass) in existence. The striped bass have been domesticated for up to 5 generations and the white bass, for up to 9. These special lines of fish give the North Carolina striped bass producers a competitive edge over others in the nation.

Michael Hopper, Superintendent
2002 Hickory Point Road Aurora, NC 27806