Cost analysis for integrating cryopreservation into an existing fish hatchery

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Fish sperm cryopreservation is documented by a large body of technical research. However, there are no reports of the economic requirements for using this technology in aquatic species. This study establishes a generic analysis of the investment and operating costs required to integrate sperm cryopreservation into existing fish hatcheries and can serve as a template for implementation of cryopreservation programs. Equipment and supplies were identified in a species-independent description of sperm cryopreservation, and capital and operating costs were documented for private and public hatcheries at three production capacities (3,000, 6,000, and 9,000 0.5-mL straws). Compared to public hatcheries, investment costs were found to be 70% higher, and operating costs 20% higher for private hatcheries due primarily to interest on borrowed capital. Equipment costs were dependent on the scope of work. Investment in required equipment incurred costs of $5,460 to $10,458 (public) or $9,497 to $18,190 (private), depending on production level. Purchase of optional research equipment increased initial investment by 300% without increasing output. Per unit costs decreased at higher production levels for all scenarios, but greater economies of scale were associated with private research hatcheries. Production costs ranged between $6.13 and $1.86 per straw (private), to $1.59 to $1.18 per straw (public). Increased commercialization is expected to occur as research protocols for fish sperm cryopreservation are applied in the private sector and markets for cryopreserved sperm are established.

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Journal of the World Aquaculture Society

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