Growth of market-size abalone (Haliotis midae) fed kelp (Ecklonia maxima) versus a low-protein commercial feed
The growth of grow-out abalone fed on kelp, with c. 10 % dry weight protein content, was compared with that of those fed on 'Feed A' (a new low-protein commercial feed of c. 26 % protein), in a flow-through system on a South African west coast commercial abalone farm. While both feeds produced similar gains in mean shell length (45.220 m day−1 for kelp, 46.839 m day−1 for 'Feed A'), the latter group significantly outperformed the kelp-fed group in terms of weight gain (0.266 % body weight day−1 for 'Feed-A' abalone; 0.257 % body weight day−1 for kelp-fed abalone). The 'Feed-A' feed may prove to be of considerable benefit as a substitute for the kelp plus high-protein feed that is sometimes used for abalone, because the former has most of the benefits of the two feeds, but none of their apparent disadvantages.
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