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Craig WatsonCraig Watson

Telephone:  (813) 671-5230 x107


M.Aq., Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures,1988, Auburn University

B.S., Biology, 1981, Florida State University

Selected Publications

Research Interests

  • Development of techniques for commercial production of new ornamental aquaculture species

  • Drug and chemical labeling for the ornamental aquaculture industry

  • Public policy issues

Craig Watson, a native of Miami, began his career at a tropical fish farm in 1974. Craig paid his way through his undergraduate at Florida State University by working at a local tropical fish store, and afterwards worked for a year as shipping manager of a wholesale tropical fish cooperative in Riverview, Florida.  He then spent three years as volunteers in the U.S. Peace Corps in Tunisia, where he assisted in a marine hatchery producing sea bass, sea bream, sole, and shrimp.  After Peace Corps he did his graduate work at Auburn University in aquaculture.

Craig joined the University of Florida as a multi-county aquaculture extension agent in April of 1988.   In 1997, he was appointed director and research coordinator for the newly established Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. 

Both through his research and working one-on-one with Florida producers, Craig has developed expertise in a wide range of issues surrounding the commercial success of ornamental aquaculture including reproduction strategies, hatchery and system design, chemical and drug usage, and environmental practices.  His life’s work has taken him to every continent except Antarctica, focusing on issues surrounding aquaculture and capture fisheries involved in the aquarium industry.  As Director of the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, he is responsible for assuring the programs and staff are providing the fundamental support to Florida’s farms as mandated by the Land Grant mission.

Craig also serves on several boards including the Florida Aquaculture Association, the National Aquaculture Association, and the Florida Aquarium.  A father of two, Craig enjoys outdoor activities, especially camping, fishing, and boating.

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Last updated August 18, 2014.
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