, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 825-829
Date: 24 Nov 2012

Cultivation of the two perennial brown algae Ecklonia cava and E. stolonifera for abalone feeds in Korea

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Ecklonia cava and Ecklonia stolonifera are perennial brown algae that form sea forests off the coast of Korea. Both species are cultured to supply a summer feed for the abalone industry. Recent expansion of the abalone industry in Korea has been bringing an increase in demand for fresh algal supply. Zoospores of the two algae were seeded in October 2006 on seed frames coiled with 100 m of seed fibers. After 2 months of indoor culture and 2 months of intermediate culture, growth and production of the two algae were compared during their main cultivation period from March 2007 to June 2008, in the culture ground in Wando, Korea (34°26′18.68″ N, 127°05′43.88″ E), in situ. Growth rate of E. cava and E. stolonifera was 1.058 and 3.089 mm day−1, respectively. The mean production of E. stolonifera obtained from the culture ropes was ca. 12 kg wet wt. m−1 of culture rope while production of E. cava was ca. 3 kg wet wt. m−1 of culture rope. The difference in production was attributed from the different growth strategies of the two algae, with only E. stolonifera being able to regenerate blades from the holdfast. The ability to regenerate blades from the holdfast therefore makes E. stolonifera the preferred species for biomass production for abalone feeds. In a 120-day feeding experiment, growth rate, weight gain, and survival rate of abalone showed that E. cava and E. stolonifera feeds could provide an alternative feed to Saccharina japonica during summer months.