Nutrition & Health

Use of formulated diets as replacements for Artemia in the rearing of juvenile American lobsters (Homarus americanus)


American lobsters, Homarus americanus, have been successfully reared in hatchery operations for over a century, yet formulated diets have never been commercially produced. In recent years, commercial Artemia replacement (CAR) diets have been developed and marketed for use in aquaculture production of marine shrimp. Three separate experiments assessed the utility of rearing American lobsters on these shrimp CAR diets. First, survival and growth of stage IV American lobsters fed one of three CAR diets (Artemac 5, CAR1; Economac 4, CAR2; and Progression 3, CAR3) were compared to those of animals fed frozen adult n-3 fatty acid enriched Artemia. Survival to 3 months was highest for animals fed CAR3 (85%), while animals fed Artemia had the greatest weight gain (N 6 % day1). A cost / benefit ratio analysis showed that CAR2 was the most cost efficient for juvenile production because of its low overall purchase cost. Second, stage IV lobsters were fed either CAR2 or frozen adult n-3 fatty acid enriched Artemia exclusively, or in combination (2:5, and 5:2). Again, CAR2 was a cost effective feed to use, even as a partial replacement for Artemia. Survival was higher in diets that included CAR2, and feeding it two days per week compensated for low quality Artemia. Finally, 1.5 year old lobsters fed a gelatin-bound mix of 80% CAR2 and 20% frozen Artemia for five months survived and grew equally well compared to lobsters fed gelatin-bound frozen adult Artemia, and better than a custom formulated maintenance diet. The benefits of incorporating formulated feeds into American lobster rearing programs to increase the effectiveness of enhancement programs is discussed.


Formulated diet, lobster, crustacean


Michael F. Tlusty, Denise R. Fiore, Jason S. Goldstein, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 USA 


Aquaculture 250 (2005) 781–795

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