Journal Article

Quality of <i>Nephrops</i> as food for Atlantic cod (<i>Gadus morhua</i> L.) with possible implications for fisheries management

Björn Björnsson and Maria Álvaro Dongala Dombaxe

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 6, pages 983-991
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.06.017
Quality of Nephrops as food for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) with possible implications for fisheries management

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Nephrops was found to be of low quality as food for cod. In a laboratory experiment the mean specific growth rate of 1 kg cod was 0.184 and 0.415% d−1 when fed to satiation on Nephrops and capelin, respectively. This large difference in growth rate resulted not only from less intake of Nephrops (1.19 kg cod−1) than capelin (1.55 kg cod−1) but also because more Nephrops (4.6 kg) than capelin (2.2 kg) were required to produce each kilogramme of cod. Higher food conversion ratio was consistent with lower fat content of Nephrops (1.3%) than capelin (9.2%) but the exoskeleton also reduced the digestion rate of Nephrops. In the groups where Nephrops and capelin of equal mean weight were offered simultaneously, 40% of the diet consisted of Nephrops during the first week and 10% during the final seven weeks of the experiment. At the end of the experiment, condition factor, liver index, and gonadosomatic index were significantly lower for cod fed on Nephrops (0.967, 5.7, 7.1, respectively) than for those fed on capelin (1.086, 15.8, 11.2, respectively). These results suggests that predation by cod on Nephrops might be reduced by regular release of capelin or other similar food in the distributional areas of Nephrops.

Keywords: cod; food quality; Nephrops; predator–prey; stock enhancement

Journal Article.  5057 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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