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Copepods culture: feasibility of coold storage of eggs and use as live food for marine larviculture


The nutritional content of live food offered to marine larvae is fundamental to their development and survival. Currently, rotifers and brine shrimp are the most commonly live foods employed in marine aquaculture. However, their nutritional profile is not ideal, often requiring their pre-enrichment and their size may make them difficult to be captured by the larvae, resulting in inefficient consumption and consequent low larvae survival rates. In view of these problems, the use of copepods nauplii can be an interesting alternative live food, since these microcrustaceans generally have advantages such as excellent nutritional value, optimal size, and swimming behavior that stimulates the larvae predation instincts which may result in higher survival rate and better larval development with fastest growing and better pigment patterns. However, copepods culture must be performed in culture densities (both copepods and microalgae) that demand excessive volumes and workload compared with to the rotifer and brine shrimp cultures. These are factors prevent the development of this activity in parallel to other demands on a hatchery and significantly compromise the advancement of marine aquaculture. Therefore, this project proposes a feasibility study of intensive copepods cultures in small scale aiming the commercialization of their eggs, which can be stored and post-hatched as demand for hatchery establishment of marine fish or aquarium, main markets at this project´s stage. (AU)

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