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Seahorse Aquaculture Marie Barton University of Alabama 2013 DISL.

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Presentation on theme: "Seahorse Aquaculture Marie Barton University of Alabama 2013 DISL."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seahorse Aquaculture Marie Barton University of Alabama 2013 DISL

2 Taxonomy Family: Syngnathidae Hippocampus kuda H. reidi H. erectus H. barbouri H. abdominalis H. breviceps H. comes H. ingens Captive-bred seahorses first recorded in 2002 In past decade, risen from 1% of total seahorse trade to 99% today

3 Economic importance, market price, locations, country Conservation ▫H. capensis in Hawaii ▫Mote marine lab Dried seahorses- traditional medicine ▫$100-300/kg Live- ornamental fish ▫$100-900/animal Australia, NZ, MX, China, Ireland and UK, India, Indonesia, USA, S. Africa, Thailand, Vietnam ▫Developed and developing countries

4 Life cycle & larval stages

5 Reproduction in Captivity Complex mating process ▫Male courts female with dancing, color change, clicking soundsMale courts female with dancing, color change, clicking sounds Male carries fertilized eggs for 20-30 days Up to 10 broods/yr 200-1000 animals/brood Monogamous

6 Production Methods Hatchery: Broodstock are kept in cages in calm bay or indoor tanks Nursery: 1 day after spawning, fry transferred to tank with biofilter, UV sterilization and ozone ▫Stocked 1-2/L Growout: 40 days later, transferred to cages or indoor tanks ▫Initial density 500/m³, after growth 200/m³

7 Production methods

8 Large-scale production in Vietnam Hippocampus comes Fry production tank Adult tank

9 Feeds and feeding Larvae eat plankton, juveniles and adults eat small crustaceans, full grown adults need some small fish too All prefer live food ▫Expensive ▫Conservation growers commonly grow plankton for larvae on site Most commercial aquaculture uses frozen food ▫Harder to train/wean but if successful, will be hardier ▫Artemia Varied diet important to health ▫Supplements, alternate live and dead/frozen food

10 Water chemistry and environmental requirements Pristine water ▫Salinity: 15-35 ppt ▫Ammonia and nitrite: 0 ppm ▫Nitrate: <20 ppm ▫DO: 6-8 ppm Temperature ▫20-28°C pH ▫8-8.3 Tall tank Current flow in part Floating space

11 Advantages & Disadvantages High market value, low production cost Protected when most vulnerable by male’s pouch Quick growth in some species ▫3-6 months High fecundity ▫1000 babies/brood Fast gestation ▫~8 broods/yr Some species hardy ▫Cage raised Disease susceptible High risk Must maintain pristine water conditions if grown indoor Poor digestion of food ▫Quick fouling If stressed at all, no productivity ▫Easily stressed Requires much understanding


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