Towards Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture: lessons from caprellids (crustacea: amphipoda)

José Manuel Guerra-garcía, Ismael Hachero-cruzado, Pablo González-romero, Pablo Jiménez-prada, Christopher Cassell, Macarena Ros

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The search for alternative live feed organisms and the progression of Integrative Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) are currently being highly prioritised in EU strategies. Caprellids could potentially be an important exploitable resource in aquaculture due to their high levels of beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids, fast growing nature and widespread distribution. Furthermore, since they are mainly detritivorous, they could be excellent candidates for integration into IMTA systems, potentially benefitting from uneaten feed pellets and faeces released by cultured fish in fish farms and sea-cage structures. Despite this, there is a lack of experimental studies to: (i) test inexpensive diets for caprellids, such as detritus, (ii) develop sustainable caprellid culture techniques and (iii) include caprellids in IMTA systems. The main aim of this study was to determine whether detritus (D) in the form of fish faeces provided an adequate diet for caprellids in comparison to other traditional diets, such as Artemia nauplii (A) or phytoplankton (P). Adult survival rate was shown to be significantly higher for caprellids fed with D. Conversely, hatchlings had the highest survival rate with A, although the juvenile growth rate and number of moults was similar in the three diets. With regard to lipid composition, caprellids fed with A had higher concentrations of Triacylglycerols (TAG) and Phosphatidylcholine (PC) while those fed with P or D were richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially 22:6(n-3) (DHA). Interestingly, caprellids fed with D were also a rich source of 18:2(n-6) (LA), considered to be an essential fatty acid in vertebrates. It was found that detritus based mainly on fish faeces and uneaten feed pellets can be considered an adequate feed for adult caprellids, providing a source of both omega-3 (DHA) and omega-6 (LA) fatty acids. Hatchlings however seem to require an additional input of TAG and PC during juvenile stages to properly grow.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0154776
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016


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