Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finicky young wrasse want shrimp

Date:
September 4, 2012
Source:
The Research Council of Norway
Summary:
Ballan wrasse are picky eaters when young. As adults, they eat sea lice off the skin of salmon – which makes them valuable to fish farmers. But as juveniles, wrasse want to be served shrimp.

Researchers continue to seek better, less costly feed for rearing Ballan wrasse juveniles, whose preferred meal is high-priced shrimp.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Marine Harvest

Ballan wrasse are picky eaters when young. As adults, they eat sea lice off the skin of salmon – which makes them valuable to fish farmers. But as juveniles, wrasse want to be served shrimp.

Seafood giant Marine Harvest produces roughly 25 per cent of all farmed salmon in Norway. The company has to deal with sea lice at all of its salmon production sites and is looking to reduce its use of delousing chemicals. For the past three years at its Marine Harvest Labrus (MHL) near Bergen, the company has been diligently developing methods to farm Ballan wrasse.

First phase completed

“It’s not feasible to catch enough wild wrasse,” says MHL’s Espen Grøtan. “Not only would it be difficult to secure enough of them, we also need to take a precautionary attitude about overfishing wild stocks.”

Finding sound methods of producing Ballan wrasse has been a collaborative effort; since 2010 MHL has been working with scientists from three major Norwegian research institutes – the Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) and the Institute of Marine Research – as well as organic salmon producer Villa Organic.

MHL is now to the point where it can mass-produce Ballan wrasse juveniles, but challenges still remain, particularly relating to the on-growing phase, before these juveniles can be transferred to sea cages and start their careers delousing salmon.

Expensive tastes

One need is improved, less costly on-growing feed . Ballan wrasse do well on a relatively low-fat diet, and research has revealed that they tolerate a large proportion of carbohydrates. The challenge lies in finding an adequate and affordable supply of protein.

“Ballan wrasse appear to have a discerning palate,” explains Grøtan.

“They reject the commercially available feed alternatives. Their very favourite meal is shrimp – whether ground up, frozen or whole. But shrimp is expensive. We’ve tried mussels, krill, low-quality shrimp meal, European flying squid and fish meal. Our trials indicate that juveniles in the early on-growing phase can become accustomed to krill-based feed, but we are still searching for a satisfactory substitute for shrimp.”

Test broodstock going strong

For a year now, MHL has been rearing roughly 1 200 broodstock individuals on a soft-pellet diet fortified with 25 per cent shrimp. These individuals are being compared against a control group of Ballan wrasse caught in the wild to see if this feeding regime affects gonad nutritional composition.

“Analyses have been positive and show little nutrient depletion,” says Grøtan, “but we may still make some adjustments.”

This year, MHL can produce two to eight million wrasse juveniles, but capacity to raise them to the size where they can be transferred to sea cages is currently limited to around half a million. In the course of this summer and autumn, some 300 000 wrasse will be transferred to Marine Harvest salmon production sites. As on-growing facilities are added, this number can increase.

“We have not yet found the optimal ratio of Ballan wrasse to salmon in the cage,” says Grøtan, “but we estimate a need for two to four million wrasse each year.”

Project facts

The project “Optimised production, nutrition and use of the cleanerfish Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta)” is designed to develop balanced diets for the various life stages of Ballan wrasse during production, as well as optimal temperature and photoperiods.

  • Project Owner: Marine Harvest Norway ASA
  • Project manager: Espen Grøtan
  • Project period: 2010-2012
  • Partners: Villa Organic AS, Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima AS) and the Institute of Marine Research
  • Funding: The Research Council of Norway’s HAVBRUK programme

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Research Council of Norway. The original article was written by Torkil Marsdal Hanssen, translated by Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Research Council of Norway. "Finicky young wrasse want shrimp." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904100143.htm>.
The Research Council of Norway. (2012, September 4). Finicky young wrasse want shrimp. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904100143.htm
The Research Council of Norway. "Finicky young wrasse want shrimp." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904100143.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins