Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Growth of hatchery-reared juveniles of the Australasian sea cucumber, Australostichopus mollis, fed with artificial and natural diets

15 November, 2016
CITATION

Zamora LN, Maxwell K and Jeffs AG 2016. Growth of hatchery-reared juveniles of the Australasian sea cucumber, Australostichopus mollis, fed with artificial and natural diets. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society.

DOI link here

ABSTRACT

Australostichopus mollis is the most common and valuable sea cucumber species on the coasts of New Zealand and southern Australia. However, information supporting the development of artificial diets to advance the aquaculture of this species is scarce. In this study, the nutrient absorption, growth, pigmentation, and survival of small (111 mg) and large (434 mg) early juveniles were measured. The juveniles were fed with mussel biodeposits (MB); a commercial hatchery diet-powdered macroalgae (HD); and artificial diets with different protein levels, 5% (5P) and 10% (10P), respectively. During the experiment, survival was greater than 66% in all diet treatments, with the juveniles feeding actively and absorbing all major macronutrients. The small juveniles, which were starting pigmentation, had higher growth rates (0.8–2.5%/d) than the large juveniles (0.2–1.2%/d), which were completing pigmentation. Growth was higher with the MB and HD diets than with the 5P and 10P diets, which could be explained by differences in the food consumption and nutrient absorption among the diet treatments. This study shows the feasibility of developing artificial diets without depending on naturally available ingredients; however, palatability and consumption need to be improved in order to make artificial diets for this species more effective and commercially available.