Replacement of live feed in marine fish hatcheries feasible

Traditionally European hatcheries use live feed, i.e. rotifers and Artemia, for first feeding of sea bream and sea bass. But there are some restricting factors connected to the utilization of live feed, according to Kostas Ntomalis, who is responsible for sales and technical support for the hatchery feed segment at BioMar, where this issue has been deliberated for some time.

Ntomalis explained: “Rotifers and Artemia are not natural feed sources for these fish species. Live feed can put at risk the outcome of hatchery production as its nutritional value is not stable and thus not predictable. Even if the live feed is supplemented with enrichments, first feeding on live feed cannot ensure that the nutritional needs of the sensitive larvae are fully fulfilled.

“Handling live feed and enrichment protocols is time-consuming and presents substantial costs. Live organisms can present biosecurity issues, occasionally bringing in undesirable pathogens into the hatchery. In addition, it can be risky to have to rely on the availability of a naturally harvested feed source such as Artemia.”

From the Hatcheryfeed Magazine, July/August 2015.

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