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Biological and technical evaluation of the potential of marine and anadromous fish species for cold-water mariculture

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Concern about the overexploitation of wild aquatic resources, the slow recovery of the groundfish fisheries and the need to encourage the diversification of the mariculture industry of the province of Quebec (Canada) all provided strong incentive to explore the potential of a wide selection of marine and anadromous fish species for cold-water mariculture. Starting from a list of over 45 indigenous fish species of potential commercial interest, a biotechnical review was initiated. Technical sheets for each species were produced and aquaculture-based selection criteria covering three aquaculture approaches of development (complete life cycle, on-growing and stock enhancement) were examined. Species were ranked according to their degree of suitability for the given biological parameters. The final classification analysis within the complete life cycle production strategy positioned the Atlantic wolffish as the top candidate species (91%) followed by the spotted wolffish and Arctic charr (87%). Growth rate, optimal growth temperature, duration of the weaning period, minimal lethal temperature, larval size and feed requirements were the determining criteria. The on-growing scenario final results ranked Arctic charr first (84%) followed by Atlantic cod (79%) and Atlantic halibut (74%) mostly owing to their growth rate at low temperature and optimal growth temperature criteria. Stock enhancement programmes should concentrate their efforts on the striped bass (56%), the haddock (54%) and the Atlantic sturgeon (34%) based on their growth rate, fishery status, landing price and the availability of impact studies.

Keywords: aquaculture species; cold-water aquaculture; mariculture diversification; species selection

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Université du Québec à Rimouski, Département de Biologie, Chimie et Sciences de la Santé, Rimouski, Québec, Canada G5L 3A1

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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