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Captive Breeding, Early Development and Larval Rearing of Kelp Grouper (Epinephelus moara)

  • Date:2021-11-17
  • Volume:28
  • No:1
  • Page:47-60
  • Auther:Pei-Sheng Chiu, Cheng-Hsuan Huang, Hui-Ping Tsai, Yeong-Torng Chu, Yu-Jung Liu and Shinn-Lih Yeh

This study aimed to report the successful results of captive breeding, early development, and larval rearing of kelp grouper Epinephelus moara. Five females were implanted with an androgen mixture (1 mg/kg body weight, BW) to induce sex change, and active sperm was obtained from three that transformed into males after nine months. The ova size of females was increased to 900-1,000 μm at 72 hr after two HCG (1,000 IU/kg BW) injections. A total of 135,000 floating eggs were obtained through artificial insemination, with those eggs having a 99.67 ± 0.33% fertilization rate and 99.00 ± 0.57% hatching rate. The fertilized eggs, with a mean diameter of 0.91 ± 0.01 mm, were spherical, transparent, and buoyant. Embryonic development lasted 29 h 28 min at 23.8 ± 1.2℃. Newly hatched larvae were 1.77 ± 0.02 mm in total length (TL) with 21-22 myomeres. At three days post hatching (dph), the TL was 2.90 ± 0.02 mm, and the mouth opened. At 7 dph, the TL was 3.44 ± 0.07 mm, and the buds of the second dorsal and pelvic fin spines had appeared. At 21 dph, the TL was 12.95 ± 0.29 mm, and the second dorsal and pelvic fin spine lengths had decreased. At 33 dph, the TL was 17.69 ± 0.09 mm, and the fin ray count was that of an adult fish. A statistical model for the growth of the larvae and juveniles is Y = 2.08 + 0.17X + 0.01X2 , where Y is the mean TL (mm) and X represents dph, which explained 97.5% of variation in growth (R2 = 0.975, n = 244). The larval rearing feeding scheme used was as follows: fertilized oyster egg, rotifers, and copepods.