Improving feeds for marine fish larvae
To successfully develop commercial diets for marine fish larvae, knowledge about how various constituents of the feed e.g. smell and taste, will affect their feeding behaviour is essential.
This project identified the feed-related substances that
Atlantic cod and halibut can taste and smell.
Most marine fish larvae for which attempts at intensive rearing
have been made require live prey as an initial diet. Large-scale
culturing of such prey is time-consuming and expensive, and this
greatly increases production costs. Further, marine fishes
typically exhibit low appetite to formulated feeds, resulting in
slow growth rate and feed wastage. Addition of attractants and/or
stimulants in feeds may motivate them to actively feed in optimum
quantities. Thus, development of formulated feeds that are
effectively consumed by marine fish larvae is widely considered an
essential step towards cost-effective exploitation of marine fish
farming. Despite significant effort on several continents, there
has been limited success in producing such formulated feeds.
In order to develop a successful commercial diet for marine fish
larvae, knowledge about how various constituents of the feed will
affect their feeding behaviour is of central importance. Certain
substances might attract larvae, and motivate the feeding response.
Such odours could be added to a formulated diet. Other substances
might serve as repellents, and demotivate the feeding response.
Such odours should be avoided in a formulated diet. Very little is
known about the olfactory responses of marine fish larvae to
odours. Recent reports strongly indicate that permeating formulated
feeds with specific chemical odours can dramatically increase the
growth rate of fish larvae. Thus, identifying substances that can
motivate the feeding response of marine fish larvae holds promise
for the rapid improvement of formulated feeds.
The project gives a lot of information which can be
used to decide what substances should be included in formulated
feeds in order to ensure that cod and halibut can smell and taste
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