Review of some aspects of marine fish larviculture
Dependable availability of quality fry to stock grow-out production systems has been one of the most critical factors in the commercial success of industrial production of fish and shellfish. Large-scale production of marine fish fry was realized only from the 1980s onwards. Although Japan was the pioneer with the red sea bream (Pagrus major), the most competitive hatchery methods were eventually developed in Europe for the sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and the gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Improved knowledge of larval dietary requirements, not the least with regard to (n-3) highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), combined with the adoption of live-food enrichment protocols allowed the successful transition from pilot to commercial-scale larviculture. Initially based on an empirical approach, larviculture nutrition research today is of a multidisciplinary nature. There are good indications that the more fundamental approach will lead to significant progress in hatchery outputs. The larval dietary regimes will eventually be adjusted as a function of the cultured species and/or specific developmental stages, e.g., changes in the enrichment protocols for Brachionus and Artemia, the selected formulation of substitution diets, and/or the adoption of co-feeding techniques. The area that has been most neglected so far, but might provoke the biggest impact in future hatchery technology is microbiology. Also the prophylactic and therapeutic use of antibiotics and other chemotherapeutics is expected to undergo significant improvements in the near future. In addition, it is very likely that better broodstock conditioning and feeding can ensure improved and constant larval qualities. Finally, improved zoo techniques will make fish larviculture more predictable and more cost-effective, e.g., adoption of modular hatchery systems, selection and use of new materials, reduction of the so-called “ human factors” by increased automation, etc.
Article from Marine Science Symposia Vol. 201 - "Mass rearing of juvenile fish". Symposium held in Bergen, 21-23 June 1993. To access the remaining articles please click on the keyword "MSS Vol. 201".