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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE MARINE AQUACULTURE

Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center

Title: Production characteristics of body composition of Florida pompano reared to market size at two different densities in low salinity recirculating aquaculture systems

Authors
item Weirich, Charles
item Wilis, Paul -
item Baptiste, Richard -
item Woodward, Peter -
item Riche, Marty

Submitted to: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 2008
Publication Date: April 13, 2009
Citation: Weirich, C.R., Wilis, P.S., Baptiste, R.M., Woodward, P.N., Riche, M.A. 2009. Production characteristics of body composition of Florida pompano reared to market size at two different densities in low salinity recirculating aquaculture systems. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 71:165-173.

Interpretive Summary: Due to their superior market value, interest in the culture of Florida pompano developed in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s. While initial efforts to raise this species to market size (> 450 g) were unsuccessful, in a recent study conducted using small-scale recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), juvenile pompano were reared at low densities from an initial weight of 17 g to weights in excess of 450 g in 4-5 months and to weights in excess of 700 g in 8-9 months. To expand on this work, juvenile pompano (average initial weight = 260 g) were reared for 110 days at two different initial stocking densities (6.5 or 13.0 kg/m3) in low salinity (5 g/L) RAS tanks. At stocking and at three week intervals thereafter, 10 % of the fish population of each tank was sampled to determine production characteristics and at termination of the rearing trial samples were obtained to determine body composition. While results indicated that final weight, weight gain, absolute frowth rate, and feed conversion efficiency of fish reared at high density was significantly lower than that of fish reared at low density, final weight of fish reared at both densities was > 570 g. Although findings of this study demonstrate that market size pompano can be produced in low salinity RAS, additional studies are warranted to determine optimal rearing density on an economical basis. Research on development of finishing diets for final stages of pompano production to increase feed conversion efficiency is also needed. Furthermore, additional research is needed to evaluate the potential of rearing pompano in RAS at salinities lower than 5 g/L, perhaps through environmental and/or dietary enhancement of critical ions.

Technical Abstract: The effect of culture density on production characteristics and body composition of Florida pompano Trachinotus carolinus reared to market size using recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) at a salinity of 5 g/L was evaluated in a 110 day growth trial (water temperature, 27.0-28.5 C). Juvenile pompano (259.0 ± 3.0 g, mean weight ± SE) were stocked into two tanks of each of four RAS at an initial density of 6.5 or 13.0 kg/m3, equivalent to 200 or 400 fish/tank, respectively. After stocking fish were fed twice daily a 50% protein, 14% lipid floating 4.7-mm pelleted diet at a targeted daily feed rate of 3 % bw/d. At stocking and at three week intervals thereafter, 10 % of the fish population of each tank was sampled to determine production characteristics including mean weight, weight gain, specific growth rate (SGR), absolute growth rate (AGR), feed conversion efficiency (FCE), biomass, and survival. At termination, samples were obtained to determine whole body composition, energy retention, protein efficiency ratio (PER), protein productive value (PPV), hepatosomatic index, gonadosomatic index, and fillet yield. Results indicated that final weight, weight gain, AGR, FCE, PER, and PPV of fish reared at high density was significantly lower than that of fish reared at low density. No differences were observed between densities with respect to other measured variables. Additional studies are warranted to determine optimal rearing density on an economical basis. Research on development of finishing diets for final stages of pompano production to increase feed conversion efficiency is also needed. Furthermore, additional research is needed to evaluate the potential of rearing pompano in RAS at salinities lower than 5 g/L, perhaps through environmental and/or dietary enhancement of critical ions.

Last Modified: 4/15/2014