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Aquaculture of sea horse Hippocampus reidi for commercialization

Grant number: 19/22914-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: April 01, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Fishery Resources and Fishery Engineering - Aquaculture
Principal Investigator:Isabelle Leite Bayona Perez
Grantee:Isabelle Leite Bayona Perez
Host Company:Isabelle Leite Bayona Perez
CNAE: Aqüicultura em água salgada e salobra
City: Botucatu
Associated researchers:Bárbara Araújo Martins
Associated scholarship(s):21/04851-1 - Growth and survivor of juveniles of seahorse Hippocampus reidi, BP.TT
21/03635-3 - Aquaculture of seahorse Hippocampus reidi for commercialization, BP.PIPE


The long-nosed seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) is currently on the Official National List of Endangered Fauna Species published by MMA Ordinance No. 445 of December 17, 2014. For this reason, it is prohibited its capture and marketing, however for reproduced in captive individuals there is no such impediment. Frequently, the species is present in the most exported Brazilian ornamental fish lists and 2008 data from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) reveal that 8,500 individuals were exported by Brazil that year. Considering the worrying of conservation status and the absence of companies that provide captive breeding seahorses in Brazil, this project aims to reproduce and supply adults of Hippocampus reidi for domestic and international marketing, as well as good breeding and cultivation practices. For this, will be used 12 couples of H. reidi that are part of the squad of the Aquarium of Ubatuba / SP. For reproduction, we will feed these individuals with Macrobrachium amazonicum shrimp post-larvae enriched with fresh artisan diet, adult artemia enriched with microalga Nannochloropsis sp., HUFAs and homeopathic products to improve the immune and reproductive systems. For six months, we will monitor the reproduction through the number, weight, length and survival of juveniles released, and the range of releases by males. From zero to 5 days after release, we will test the juveniles for the best diet for cultivation. A completely randomized design with 3 treatments and 12 replicas consisting of different food offerings will be carried out: a) 100% composed of newly hatched Macrobrachium amazonicum larvae; b) 100% wild zooplankton; c) mixed diet consisting of 50% of newly hatched M. amazonicum larvae and 50% of wild zooplankton. From the 6th day of life, we will offer to all individuals a diet consisting of: artemia nauplium and metanuplium, shrimp M. amazonicum larvae enriched with inert diet and wild zooplankton until the 22nd day of life. From the 23rd day of life, we will feed the juveniles with enriched artemia and post larvae of M. amazonicum enriched with an inert diet until reaching a selling size of 8 cm. In addition, food preference will be tested on days 6, 10, 20 and 30 after birth. 10 animals will be placed in 15L aquariums with 20 units of each food item, including: Artemia nauplius and metanuplium, larva and post larvae of shrimp M. amazonicum enriched with inert diet and wild zooplankton. With this project, we hope to develop good management and nutrition practices for H. reidi breeders and juveniles, as well as a technology package of live food maintenance, which will include Artemia sp. and M. amazonicum. The Ubatuba Aquarium would be the only company currently to provide specimens of H. reidi from aquaculture in Brazil, with no competitors. In addition, this project can contribute to the development of a new perspective in public aquariums in Brazil, with the production of endangered ornamental fish, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the H. reidi squad and the possibility of obtaining and maintaining species by other institutions. (AU)

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