A three-year study was conducted to investigate the effects of water temperature on Atlantic halibut broodstock reproductive performance. Two groups of fish held under ambient photoperiod were established onto contrasting temperature regimes. The ‘chilled’ group were held at below 9 °C from late October and at approximately 6 °C from December until the end of the spawning period whilst the ‘ambient’ group received no temperature control. The temperature profiles for the ‘ambient’ group changed over the 3 years but were generally characterised by warmer conditions prior to spawning and an earlier temperature rise in the spring. Total egg production was higher in the ‘chilled’ group each year. Absolute fecundity was significantly reduced in the ‘ambient’ group compared to the ‘chilled’ group every year of the study (0.6 million eggs/female for ‘chilled’ group vs. 0.3 to 0.4 million eggs/female for ‘ambient’ group) and egg viability, in terms of fertilisation and hatch rate, was significantly impaired in the ‘ambient’ group in years 2 and 3 (mean fertilisation rate in the ‘ambient’ group was between 27.0% and 54.8%; vs. 63.4% to 77.4% in the ‘chilled’ group, mean hatch rate in the ‘ambient’ group was between 3.1% and 25.6% vs. 60.7% to 71.7% in the ‘chilled’ group). Eggs spawned at high temperatures, later in the season were generally of low viability. In the ‘ambient’ group the spawning season became progressively delayed during the study and average duration of spawning season over 3 years was shorter (between 23.5 to 26.3 days for the ‘ambient’ group vs. between 30.5 and 41.2 days for ‘chilled’ group). It is hypothesised that high temperature during the vitellogenesis period caused a delay in spawning and a reduction in quantity and quality of eggs and that this effect was exacerbated by high temperature during spawning.
Aquaculture – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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