Broodstock spawning and larviculture of whiting (Merlangius merlangus L.) reared in captivity


Povoa I, Davie A, Treasurer J & Migaud H (2011) Broodstock spawning and larviculture of whiting (Merlangius merlangus L.) reared in captivity. Aquaculture Research, 42 (3), pp. 386-398.

In recent years, an increasing interest in the farming of marine ‘white' fish, such as cod, has been observed in the aquaculture industry. One species being considered for aquaculture development is whiting (Merlangius merlangus L.). With little data being available on the domestication of this species, our study aimed to characterize spawning behaviour and rhythmicity in captive broodstock and provide original data on egg incubation, embryonic development and larval rearing. The results observed through video recording showed that spawning mainly occurred at night with active courtship behaviour. Daily egg batches were collected from two separate spawning seasons, with an average fertilization success declining from 77% to 53%. Time to hatch was inversely related to the incubation temperature and occurred after 78 degree-days (9 days at 8 °C), with emerging larvae ranging in size from 3.3 to 3.46 mm total length and hatch success ranging from 48.3% to 99.9%. In comparison with a clear water environment, a green water regime during the first days of larval rearing significantly improved larval growth and survival. These results are the first to describe spawning activity, early development and larval performances in whiting and are promising for the potential future development of whiting aquaculture.

whiting; broodstock; spawning; egg incubation; temperature; green water; larviculture; Fisheries; Nature and nurture; Aquaculture

Aquaculture Research: Volume 42, Issue 3

Publication date28/02/2011