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Aquaculture Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

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Program accomplishments...

In 2002-2003, the program's research improved production techniques of live foods for rearing fish larvae using Parvocalanus species, a calanoid copepod without a common name, that had been identified as promising in previous years? research. A two-stage system for copepod production was developed using separate nauplius (early life stage) and broodstock production tanks. After experiments with a small, 400 liter, prototype system were successful, it was scaled up to larger 1500 liter and 4000 liter systems useful for mass rearing of fish larvae, resulting in a provisional patent application for these systems. Culture of the Parvocalanus larval food source in outdoor "mesocosm" (semi-natural) tanks was also investigated. Experiments were done using Parvocalanus life-history stages as larval food for flame angelfish, bluefin trevally, and Gulf of Mexico red snapper. Survival rates of trevally and snapper were good, above 10%, but survival of angelfish was less than 1%. Nevertheless, Parvocalanus production for rearing of tropical fish larvae has considerable promise compared to larval foods used by aquaculture in the past. Other research focused on broodstock systems for spawning of flame and Potter's angelfish, popular species in the ornamental aquarium fish trade, and on the effects of diet on broodstock of flame angelfish and of amberjack, a species of considerable interest for offshore aquaculture. Construction of a 19-tank system for spawning of angelfish began and should be used for research in 2004. Experiments on the effects of various foods for spawning pairs of angelfish and for spawning groups of amberjack began. Feeding experiments for the angelfish are preliminary and results should be available in 2004. Feeding experiments for amberjack resulted in mixed results; a raw-food diet resulted in slightly improved growth rates compared to artificial foods, but bacterial infections appeared in fish fed raw foods. Egg production and larval survival resulting from adults fed with both types of food were low, and more research on broodstock foods needs to be done to improve amberjack production. Results of the program's research were presented at several national and international conferences, and several manuscripts are currently in review for publication in scientific journals.