The effects of culture density on growth and broodstock management of the cuttlefish S. officinalis were studied. Cuttlefish used were one month old at the start of the experiment, on average; two densities were used (16 and 76 cuttlefish m −2 ). During the first experiment (until day 43), dead cuttlefish were replaced by individuals of similar weight. From that day onwards, no cuttlefish were replaced. No significant differences in growth and feeding rates, or food conversions were found between densities, during the first experiment. Results indicate that densities up to 76 cuttlefish m −2 are suitable for cuttlefish weighing approximately 10 g. After day 43 until first female layed eggs (second experiment), no statistical differences were found between densities for all the parameters studied with the exception of growth. In this case, cuttlefish cultured at the lower density grew more than those ones cultured at the higher density, with average weights at the start of egg laying of 137.3±21.6 and 91.8±12.3 g, respectively. This difference in growth could be explained mainly by the different culture densities and biomass associated. Fecundity obtained for cuttlefish cultured at the lower density (834 eggs female −1 ) was higher than for those ones cultured at the higher density (290 eggs female −1 ), however fertility was higher for the higher density. These results were expected, since fecundity is directly related to the size of females. Significant differences were found in fertility (hatching percentage) between densities. Mean hatching percentage was of 35.8±9.4% and 62.0±16.9% for low and high density, respectively. This difference was unexpected since we expected eggs from females cultured at lower densities to have higher quality. Mean hatchling weight was of 0.079±0.011 and 0.072±0.012 g for low and high density respectively, and significantly different. Results indicate that lower culture density promoted higher growth, larger eggs and hatchlings, but had no influence on juvenile and adult survival. On the contrary, eggs from females cultured at higher densities resulted in higher hatching rates.
Aquaculture – Elsevier
Published: Mar 4, 2005
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