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Feeding Rates, Growth Performance and Gametogenesis of Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) kept in Captivity

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Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) is a panoceanic, antitropical distributed species. Despite the high market price, high growth rate, good quality flesh and the potential for aquaculture, research data are scarce. In this study, the growth performance and food intake was investigated in juvenile fish, while gametogenesis was studied in adult fish. Three groups were created from 19 individuals, which were collected during neustonic sampling, using fish aggregating devices, in association with floating objects and during tuna fishing with drift nets from Greece (Crete), Italy (Ionian Sea) and the Atlantic coast of France from September 1999 to March 2001. All individuals (initial weight between 0.5 g and 4.5 kg) were reared in aquaculture facilities so as to monitor growth performance and food intake. Food (de-frozen fish – bogue, mackerel and squid – or moist pellets) was delivered ad libitum. Total length and wet weight were measured regularly. Daily food intake, the food conversion index and daily growth rate were calculated. Individuals, aging 0+, grew exceptionally fast, reaching 2.0 kg (total length 50 cm) in 12 months and 5.0 kg (total length 65 cm) in 24, while at later stages, the growth rate decreased and depended on the water temperature during rearing. Food consumption varied during the rearing period according to the developmental stage and the rearing conditions. The food conversion ratio ranged between 0.9 and 2.5 on dry weight basis during the period of the study. Gametogenesis was monitored in a separate stock of 15 individuals (11.7 ± 3.7 kg) by biopsis while blood samples were taken for steroid estimation. Increased oocyte diameter was observed in females from August to January, while plasma estradiol levels also increased from October to March. However, neither egg or sperm were collected from the stock. Young wreckfish presented a high growth rate in captivity, thus supporting the feasibility of the species for rearing. Further research, however, is required for the reproduction of the species.

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Papandroulakis, N., Suquet, M., Spedicato, M. et al. Feeding Rates, Growth Performance and Gametogenesis of Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) kept in Captivity. Aquaculture International 12, 395–407 (2004).

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