, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 117-127

Optimizing rearing conditions of hatchling loliginid squid

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Eggs laid by the California market squid (Loligo opalescens) were collected from spawning grounds and reared in the laboratory. The eggs were maintained in a rearing tank that was part of a closed, recirculating system. The system included seven 220-l circular tanks with attached filtration. Five experiments were conducted to test hatchling survival. One of them evaluated survival on three different food types: (a) enriched Artemia sp. nauplii, (b) wild zooplankton and (c) a mixture of a and b plus mysid shrimp. This mixture of food types (c) was offered to the hatchlings in the other four experiments. High mortality occurred in all experiments between days 1 and 15 post-hatching. However, survival over the entire time span of the experiments (45–60 days) was between 36% and 60%. These survival rates are well above previously reported survival rates for the same time period, and overall are up to 35% better than any survival results ever attained for the routine culture of Loligo spp. squid. Results suggest that high survival can be achieved by: (1) rearing hatchlings in a recirculating system consisting of small round tanks designed to maintain water quality and pH within narrow limits (8.1–8.4), (2) maintaining low current speed (1.0–1.4 cm s–1) to reduce skin damage and to enhance hatchling–prey interactions, (3) increasing feeding rate by feeding small amounts of food at regular intervals (every 2–3 h) during day time hours and keeping prey densities above 50 prey l–1, (4) feeding hatchlings with enriched Artemia nauplii during days 1–30 post-hatching and (5) feeding a variety of prey types and sizes to match the different sizes and hunting abilities of same-aged but heterogeneously developing hatchlings. The results from this study will enhance future culturing efforts for the commercially important loliginid squid.

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