Journal Article

Nutrition in cod (<i>Gadus morhua</i>) larvae and juveniles

Kristin Hamre

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 2, pages 267-274
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Nutrition in cod (Gadus morhua) larvae and juveniles

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Over the past few years, great progress has been made in culturing cod larvae in indoor hatcheries using rotifers and Artemia or formulated feed as start-feed (intensive systems). However, when compared with natural systems based on copepods grown in seawater lagoons, the growth potential has not been fulfilled, and deformities of larvae and juveniles increase production costs. The deformities, which are seldom seen in natural systems, also constitute an ethical problem. The differences in growth and development of deformities in intensive and natural systems may be dependent, in part, on nutrition, but are caused by environmental conditions and early husbandry practises as well. To identify nutrients that may be deficient or in excess in live feed, we are in the process of screening the nutrient compositions of rotifers and Artemia grown or enriched on different feeds and comparing them with the composition of copepods and published requirements for larger fish. Replacing live food with formulated diets as early as possible is a goal of marine larval aquaculture. It is important that these diets contain protein which is available for the larvae and phospholipids that promote the absorption and transport of fat. The optimum macronutrient composition in diets for cod juveniles has been determined and can be extrapolated, with caution, to the larval stage. A problem in using formulated diets is the extensive leakage of nutrients as a result of the large surface area to volume and the short diffusion distance in the microparticles. Leakage leads to rapid loss of small, water-soluble molecules such as free amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, but extensive leakage of water-soluble protein has also been shown. The demand for protein available to the larvae, which probably will make the protein more water soluble, is therefore in conflict with the need to reduce protein leakage from the feeds. Development of feed production technology to prevent nutrient leakage is essential in order to make formulated diets a good alternative to live feed.

Keywords: cod; deformities; formulated larval feeds; Gadus morhua; juveniles; larvae; live feed; nutrient requirements

Journal Article.  5854 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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