18-10-2013 | Blue Linked hatchery works on an important breakthrough in aquaculture
Developmental stages of turbot larvae, cultured in the Experimental hatchery of Blue Linked (photo: T. Wijgerde).
Developmental stages of turbot larvae, cultured in the Experimental hatchery of Blue Linked (photo: T. Wijgerde).

In the Experimental fish fry hatchery, Blue Linked works with an innovative culture system. An important character of this system is the presence of a varied composition of food animals: smaller Brachionus and larger copepods. With this unique starting point, the system offers the fish larvae a natural environment to develop into fish fry.

Thanks to the varied composition of food animals, the fish larvae are stimulated to develop a natural foraging behaviour. We expect that this helps the fish larvae to survive a fundamental stage in aquaculture: the transition from live food to dry food. In traditional aquaculture systems, it is not possible to adapt to the natural food requirements of developing fish larvae. As a result, there is a large loss of larvae during the transition from live food animals to dry food particles. Using a natural composition of food animals, Blue Linked aims to overcome this problem.

Sofar, the culture of turbot larvae (Scophthalmus maximus) in the Experimental fish fry hatchery of Blue Linked already led to surprising results. The fish larvae were capable of eating dry food (150 micron) in addition to live food animals, at an earlier developmental stage as in traditional aquaculture systems. The combination of a varied composition of live food animals and the early uptake of dry food, implies that the usual switch from Brachionus to Artemia nauplii can be skipped.

Usually, fish larvae are gradually accustomed to feeding on larger dry feed particles (from 150 micron via 300 micron to 300-500 micron). Considering the prosperous development of the turbot larvae in the hatchery, we decided to skip the 300 micron feeding stage. With positive results, this could end up in another stimulus to increase the efficiency of culturing fish fry.


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