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Growth rate and nutritional status of wild and released reared juvenile turbot in southern Kattegat, Denmark

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More than 800 000 reared juvenile turbot Psetta maxima were released in Danish waters during the period 1990 to 2002, as part of a stock enhancement programme. Performance of the released fish has been investigated using a combination of surveys and experimental studies. A total of 1278 wild fish and 439 alizarine marked released fish were caught in 16 surveys from 1993 to 1997. Recaptures were made over a period of c. 2 years after release. Results of growth analysis and measurements of nutritional status (condition factor, liver index, liver dry matter and otolith residual mass) showed only minor differences between wild and released fish. Growth rates of wild and of released fish were comparable to fish kept in the laboratory at the same temperature (specific length growth rate c. 0·5% day−1 at 75–185 mm total length and 12·5° C). The results indicated sufficient food in the release area, but significant differences in growth and in nutritional status, between  years, were also observed. Nutritional status of both wild and released fish was comparable to fed fish in the experiments and significantly higher than in fish starved for  > 1 week. The effects of the transport and release procedures used were examined by simulated releases in laboratory tanks. The fish were observed to be feeding and growing normally during the first week after simulated release, suggesting this species to be relatively robust and unaffected by the handling and release procedures.

Keywords: condition; growth; liver; otolith; release; turbot

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Department for Marine Ecology and Aquaculture, North Sea Centre, Box 101, DK-9850 Hirtshals, Denmark and 2: Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Department for Marine Ecology and Aquaculture, Kavalergaarden 6, DK-2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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