Optimizing prepared feed ration for gonad production of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis

Pearce, C.M.; Daggett, T.L.; Robinson, S.M.C.

Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 33(3): 268-277

2002


ISSN/ISBN: 0893-8849
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-7345.2002.tb00503.x
Accession: 003871367

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Abstract
Adult green sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis were fed three different quantities (0.25, 0.50, 1.00% body weight/d) of a prepared feed during a 12-wk experiment to determine the effect of food ration on gonad quantity and quality. A diet of kelp, Laminaria longicruris and/or L. digitata, fed at satiation (3% body weight/d) and urchins taken from the wild at the beginning and end of the experiment served as controls. Urchins fed prepared feed or kelp increased their percent gonad yield significantly over the experimental period. After 12 wk, individuals fed the prepared diet at 0.50 or 1.00% body weight/d had significantly higher percent gonad yields (mean+or-SEM: 23.5+or-0.6% and 23.4+or-0.7%, respectively) than urchins fed at 0.25% body weight/d (18.0+or-1.0%) or control animals given kelp (18.3+or-0.8%). There was no significant difference in gonad yield between the 0.50 and 1.00% feeding levels. All feeding treatments had significantly higher percent gonad yields than urchins sampled from the wild at the end of the experiment that had recently spawned (2.8+or-0.5%). There was no significant difference in gonad taste among urchins fed the prepared diet at 0.25% body weight/d, those given kelp, or those collected from the wild at the end of the experiment (good to very good ratings), but all of these treatments had significantly better tasting gonads than urchins given the prepared feed at 0.50 or 1.00% body weight/d (satisfactory ratings). Gonad taste rating of urchins fed a prepared diet was dependent on ration with greater feed amounts leading to worse tasting gonads (linear regression: r2=0.68, P<0.01). Gonad colour, texture, and firmness did not differ significantly among any of the feed ration treatments or kelp control. Results suggest that the best ration for prepared feed would be 0.50% body weight/d since this would optimize gonad yield while minimizing feed costs. Further research on prepared feeds is required to optimize both gonad colour and taste.

Optimizing prepared feed ration for gonad production of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis