Dr. M. Refik Orhun

Technology Transfer Specialist

  Marine Fish Aquaculture and Seafood Quality

[email protected]



2001    Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF), Rosenstiel School, University of Miami (UM)

1989    M.S. in Ecology (Culture and physiology of marine fish larvae), San Diego State University

1981    Biological Oceanography and Zoology, Universität Kiel, Germany (then West)

1979    Vor-Diplom in Biology und Chemistry, Universität Tübingen, Germany (then West)



11/11/2007 – Present       Research Fishery Biologist, Data Analyst and Programmer Commercial Fisheries Statistics, Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), NOAA-Fisheries Service, US Dept. Commerce

01/02/2003 – 08/2007     Associate Scientist, Director of Marine Fish Hatchery, and Technology Transfer Manager for Commercial Aquaculture Development, Aquaculture Program. Designed and lead the day-to-day operation of a pilot-scale demonstration marine fish culture facility  

06/10/1994 - Present     Marine Fish Aquaculture Technology Transfer Specialist. Marine fish hatchery design with specific considerations given to simplification of culture procedures ergonomics,increase in efficiency and intensification, and ergonomics of culture systems.  These include all aspect from maturation, to live food production systems (i.e. microalgae, rotifers, copepods, and Artemia), to incubation, larval rearing  through weaning and nursery systems for appied research in commercial-level production of marine fish juveniles. Served as aquaculture expert for the following clients: Aquaculture Center of the Florida Keys-Marathon/FL, Aquasense/NJ, Bahamas and Panama, BahiaPesca-Bahia/Brazil, EcoMicrobials-Miami/FL, Blue and Green International-Lima/Peru, Dellta-Bahia/Brazil, Deltaqua-Istanbul/Turkey, FincaMarina-Campeche/Mexico, IxoyeYucatan/Mexico, Reed Mariculture-Campbell/CA, Rokaviar-Homestead/FL, Snapperfarm-Culebra/Puerto Rico, TWB-Sao Paulo/Brazil and Aqualider,  Recife/Brazil and Mainstream, Puerto Montt/Chile.  

05/05/1997 - Present        Seafood professional working on seafood safety and quality matters.  Serving as an independent third party professional in assisting the seafood industry. in implementing seafood safety procedures, from quality assurance and control to verification, certification and auditing. Assisting in HACCP plan development for compliance with government and more traceability. as  it is demanded more and more from the overall market. OSHA matters.  Communicated with federal, state and local government agencies implementation, interpretation, and priorities in latest regulations.  Preparing seafood companies for independant audits, e.g NSF Seafood Safety Audit for Costco requirements and advising on seafood safety and sustainability cerrtification matters. 

Updated HACCP plans to meet compliance towards the FDA and state regulations, e.g. those regulated by Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Food Safety. Interpreting microbiological analysis and chemical seafood safety tests Gave consulting advice on processing and value-adding related issues. Recommended, designed and directed research & development projects. Inspected seafood and illustrated quality with digital pictures and made available with copies of written inspection reports to clients via protected folders on my Sciencefish.com web site at URL: http://www.sciencefish.com

Served the following seafood Clients: Anova Foods USA, Aquachile, Aquafarms International, Lan Chile, JC Seafood, Morey's Seafood International, Pescanova USA, Regal Springs, Salmones Multiexport, Stolt Sea Farm, and Sysco Corporation. Served the following logistics clients: Hellmann Perishable Logistics, Preferred Freezer at Medley, Miami and Los Angeles locations, Consolidated Freight Forwarders at Miami and Los Angeles locations, Miami International Transit. Maintains contact with two seafood testing laboratories: Kappa Labs, SGS and Silliker Laboratories.

09/10/1998 - 09/2003      Research Assistant and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Fisheries Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment Research (FEMAR) Group, MBF - Rosenstiel School, UM

02/02/2002 - 08/2002        Finance Statistician, Johnson & Johnson, Pharmaceuticals, South America

09/09/1992  - 08/1998       Research Assistant, Marine Fish Hatchery, MBF - Rosenstiel School, UM

06/06/1984 - 05/1992       Hatchery Production Manager, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, San Diego, California. Produced hundreds of thousands of white seabass fingerlings for the Ocean Resource Enhancement Project (stock enhancement project sponsored by the Calif. Dept. Fish & Game. Developed experience in capture, maturation, spawning, larval rearing, fingerling production and grow out of the marine fish species.

06/12/1982 - 05/1984   Research Assistant, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Dept of Commerce (USDC), La Jolla, CA. Conducted experiments of the physiology of marine fish larvae, specifically white seabass, California halibut and northern anchovy. Reared of over 25 cohorts of white seabass and 2 cohorts of California halibut over a two year period as part of a San Diego State's Master thesis research that directly resulted in the implementation of a stock enhancement project for white seabass and California halibut by the State ofCalifornia at the completion of the project and presentation of the results to the California Coastal Commission.


Cultured Marine Aquaculture Species

- California Halibut (Bothidae)

- Yellowtail Jack and Pompano (Carangidae)

- Atlantic Menhaden (Clupeidae)

- Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaenidea)

- Northern Anchovy (Engraulidae)

- Neon Goby (Gobiidae)

- White Grunt and Blue-striped Grunt (Haemulidae)

- Bluehead Wrasse (Labridae)

- Yellowtail Snapper, Mutton Snapper and Lane Snapper (Lutjanidae)

- Striped Bass (larvae fresh to salt water transition) and Giant Sea Bass (Percichtyidae)

- Cobia (Rachycentridae)

- White Seabass, Red Drum, and Spotted Seatrout (Sciaenidae)

- Rock Hind, Red Hind, and Kelp Bass (Serranidae)

- Sea horse (Syngnathidae)


Marine Aquaculture Technology Transfer

2010 -            Marine aquaculture,  KZO Sea Farms Scientific Advisory Board Volunteer, USA

2007/8           Cobia aquaculture, Aqualider, Brazil

2006/7           Cobia aquaculture, FincaMarina, Mexico

2006/7           Cobia aquaculture, Ixoye Tropicales, Mexico

2006/7           Cobia aquaculture, TWB, Brazil

2006/8           Cobia aquaculture, Cobia Bahia,  Brazil

2004/6           Cobia aquaculture, Aquasense, Bahamas

2004              Flounder aquaculture, Blue and Green, Peru

2002/7           Cobia and Snapper aquaculture, Snapperfarms, Puerto Rico.


Funded Government and NGO Projects

2007/8  Demonstrating technological and economic feasibility of cobia (Rachycentron canadum)   aquaculture from hatchery to market. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Aquaculture Program, U.S. Dept. of Commerce (USDC)

2007       Evaluation of cobia production in a fully contained, environmentally, sustainable recirculating = marine aquaculture system. NOAA - Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) Program, USDC

2007      Reduction of fishmeal in cobia diets. Elizabeth Dunn Foundation

2006/7   Cobia aquaculture technology transfer contracts with FincaMarina, Campeche, Mexico, IxoyeTropicales Yucatan, Mexico, and TWB, Ilha Comprida-SP, Brazil.

2006/7   Molecular evaluation of adaptation to stress conditions in cobia larvae and juveniles cultured with and without the use of probiotics. NOAA, LMRCSC Program, USDC

2004/6   Improved hatchery technology of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) using proactive microbial management and a simplified live food regime. FL Sea Grant Program, NOAA, USDC

2004/6  Demonstrating hatchery and offshore growout technology for production of cobia (R. canadum) from egg to market. NOAA National Marine Aquaculture Program, USDC

2004    Intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive fingerling production of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in Florida using tanks, mesocosms and ponds. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Aquaculture Division


Affiliations and Award

2005 – 2007        Member of the Animal Care & Use Committee, UM

2003 – 2007        Environmental Health and Safety Officer, Marine Fish Hatchery, UM

2003 – 2007          Occupational Safety and Health and Officer, Marine Fish Hatchery, UM

1992 – Present    Member of the American Fisheries Society (incl. Early Life History Section)

1987 – Present    Member of the World Aquaculture Society


1992   Best student paper in Fisheries Biology, awarded by the American Institute of Fishery Research

            Biologists at the Southern California Academy of Sciences meeting, L.A., California


Other related Skills

Programming:  FORTRAN, UNIX scripts, html

Software:         SAS, SQL, IDL, Matlab, MS EXCEL, MS WORD, Photoshop, Illustrator, Canvas

Field work:       Research Diver and Boat Operator

Languages      German:         No Accent or native

                        Turkish:          No Accent or native

                        Spanish:         Advanced

                        Portuguese:    Intermediate to Advanced

                        French:           Intermediate


Related Certificates and Licenses

2003 -  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training certification, UM

2003 -  Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) training certification, UM

2001 -  HACCP Certification, NOAA - Seafood Inspection Service

1999 -  Laboratory Safety training certification, UM

1997 -  Advanced Nitrox Diver certification, Diving Safety Office, Rosenstiel School, UM

1995 -  Boating and Seamanship certification, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

1994 -  Research Diving certification, Diving Safety Office UM

1992 -  2004  CPR and First Aid certifications, Diving Safety Office - UM                  

1986 -  Fish Diseases Diagnostics certification, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego CA.

1982 -  Advanced Scientific Diving certification, Diving Safety Office, San Diego State Univ., CA


Relevant Presentations and Publications (Book Chapters, Abstracts) 

2011      Hekimoglu, M.A. and M.R. Orhun.  Empirical laboratory studies on the growth of five cohorts of larval and early juvenile spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 20, 569-576.

2010      Benetti, D.D., O’Hanlon, B., Rivera, J.A. Welch, A., Maxey, C. and M.R., Orhun. Growth rates of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) cultured in open ocean submerged cages in the Caribbean. Aquaculture 302, 195-201.

2008      Benetti, D.D., Sardenberg, B., Welch, A., Hoenig, R., Orhun, M.R., and Zink, I. Intensive Larval Husbandry and Fingerling Production of Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Aquaculture 281(1-4), 22-27.

2008      Benetti, D.D., Orhun, M.R., Sardenberg, B., O’Hanlon, B., Welch, A., Hoenig, R., Zink, I., Rivera, J., Denlinger, B., Bacoat, D, Palmer, K., Cavalin, F. Advances in hatchery and grow-out technology of Cobia (Rachycentron canadum). Aquaculture Research 39, 701-711.

2007      Orhun. M.R. and Benetti, D.D. Advances in hatchery and growout technlogy of Cobia Rachycentron canadum in the Americas. Aquaculture Europe 2007, Oct.24-27, 2007, Istanbul, Turkey. CD of Abstracts, 401-402.

2007      Sardenberg, B., Benetti, D., Orhun,R., Welsh, A., Hoenig, R., Zink, I., Nunes, M., Bacoat, D., Cavalin, F., Palmer, K. Maturation, spawning, intensive larval rearing and mass fingerlings production of Cobia Rachycentron canadum. The 3rd international sustainable marine fish culture Conference 2007 at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI).

2007      Benetti, D., Orhun, R., Zink, I., Cavalin, F., Sardenberg, B., Palmer, K., Denlinger, B., Bacoat, D., and B. O’Hanlon. Aquaculture of Cobia Rachycentron canadum in the Americas and the Caribbean. In “Cobia Aquaculture: Research Development and Commercial Production” (I Chiu Liao and Eduardo M. Leano (eds.), 57-77.

2007      Benetti, D., O’Hanlon, B., Orhun, R., Rivera, J., Sardenberg, B., Zink, I., Cavalin, F., Palmer, K., Bacoat, D., Denlinger, B. An Update on Open Ocean Aquaculture of Cobia Rachycentron canadum in the Americas. World Aquaculture Society (WAS) 2007, San Antonio, Texas, Book of Abstracts, 74.

2007     Orhun, R., Benetti, D., Zink, P., Cavalin, F.,Sardenberg, B. Palmer, K, Denlinger, B., Bacoat, D., and P.A. Douillet. Simplified Food Regime for Larval Rearing of Cobia Rachycentron canadum. World Aquaculture Society 2007, San Antonio, Texas, Book of Abstracts, pg: 688.

2006      Orhun, R., Benetti, D., Zink I., Collins, J. Rice, P., Cavalin, F., Sardenberg, B., Douillet. P. Progress in hatchery technology of Cobia Rachycentron canadum at the University of Miami Experimental hatchery (UMEH). WAS 2006, Firenza, Italy, Book of Abstracts, 684

2006     Zink, I., Cavalin, F., Bacoat, D., Denlinger, B., Palmer, K., Sardenburg, Kirkpatrick, R., Orhun, R. Benetti, D. A. U.S. Trials compare commercial diets fed to juvenile Cobia. GAA Advocate Vol. 9 (2): 53-54. 

2006    Benetti, D., O’Hanlon, B., Orhun, R., Brand, L., Rivera, J., Zink, I. Douillet, P., Collins, J., Maxey, C., Danylchuk, A., Alston, D., Cabarcas, A. Hatchery, on technology and environmental monitoring of open ocean aquaculture of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in the Caribbean. WAS 2006, Firenza, Italy, Book of abstracts, pg: 76.

2005   Benetti, D.D., M. Nakada and M.R. Orhun.Aquaculture of Yellowtail Hamachi, Seriola quinqueradiata. Aquaculture Compendium, CABI Ed. Available at the internet at http://www.cabicompendium.org/ac/datasheet.asp?CCODE=SEROQU and as CD.

2005      Orhun, R., Benetti, D., Zink, I, Collins, J, Rice, P., Cavalin, F., Sardenberg, B, Douillet, P. Progress in hatchery development of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) at the University of Miami Experimental Hatchery (UMEH). The 2nd international sustainable marine fish culture conference, 2005 at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI).

2005   Rotman, F.J. Benetti, D.D., DeMicco, E. and, and M.R. Orhun. Larval rearing of spotted seatrout,Cynoscion nebulosus (Sciaenidae) using probiotics as microbial control agent. J. Aquacult. Tropics. Indian Inst. of Technology, May 2005: 175-184.          

2004     Benetti, D.D., O’Hanlon, B., Ayvazian, J., Orhun, M.R., Rivera, J.A., Rice, P.H., and Douillet, P.A. From Egg to Market: The development of a new, sustainable offshore aquaculture industry in Florida (US) and the Caribbean. WAS 2004, Honolulu, HI. Book of abstracts, pg.: 53.

2003     Orhun, M.R., Benetti, D.D. Potential of sciaenid fishes for offshore aquaculture. WAS annual conference 2003. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Book of abstracts, Vol. 2, 543.

2002      Benetti, D.D. and Orhun, M.R. Aquaculture of pelagic fish: IV. Cobia (Rachycentron canadum). GAA Advocate Vol. 5(1), 61-62.

2001     Benetti, D.D., Alarcon J.F., Stevens, O., Rotman, F., Banner-Stevens, G., Zimmermann, S., Feeley, M.W., Matzie, W., Orhun, M.R., O'Hanlon, B., Eldridge, L. Marine fish culture in Latin American and Caribbean countries. GAA Advocate Vol. 4 (4): 71-74.

2001      Orhun, M.R., Benetti, D.D.  Rotifer management in marine fish culture. GAA Adv. 4 (3): 49-50.

2001     Orhun, M.R. Marine fish larvae dynamics.  An empirical and quantitative analysis.  Ph.D. dissertation. University of Miami, 201pg.

1997    Haktenir, A.T., Beken, M.D., and Orhun, M.R.  Design and application of a 16-port feeder control unit. In "Mediterranean Fisheries Congress". Proceeding of the Mediterranean Fisheries Congress 1997, Istanbul, Turkey. (B. Hossu ed.), 119-122. 

1993     Orhun, M.R. Growth and energetics of larval white seabass, Atractoscion nobilis (Sciaenidae). Ann. Conf. Amer. Fish. Soc, in Austin, Texas, 1993. Book of Abstracts, 351.

1991     Orhun, M.R., Johnson, S.R., Kent, D.B., and R.F. Ford.  Practical approach to high-density rotifer production. In "Rotifer and Micro algae Culture Systems", Fulks and Main (eds.), pg.: 73-78.  Proceedings of an U.S.-Asia Workshop, Honolulu, HI, 1991. The Oceanic Institute

1989      Orhun, M.R. Early Life history of white seabass, Atractoscion nobilis.  M.S. thesis. San Diego State University, 162pg.

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