Investigations of selected parameters for growth of larval and juvenile black sea bass Centropristis striata L.

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The black sea bass Centropristis striata L. endemic to the U. S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts is a highly sought species that commands a high price in the marketplace. Investigations were undertaken to determine the basic requirements for culture of sea bass larvae and juveniles. Adult black sea bass were captured from the wild and were found to be robust and to adapt well to captivity. Larvae were obtained by strip spawning of these adults and survived and grew at higher rates in seawater supplemented with algae (greenwater) and maintained at 22 C, than in seawater with or without supplemental algae at 18 C. Larvae were provided a diet of rotifers through 12 d post hatch (DPH) and weaned over a 3-d period to enriched Artemia replenished daily to a density of 10 individuals/mL. By 18 DPH, larvae began ingesting a formulated diet for marine finfish and were completely weaned from live feed by 25 DPH, which coincided with the onset of metamorphosis. Juveniles tolerated a range of salinity from 10-32 ppt with the highest growth rate observed at 20 ppt. Culture of larvae and juveniles on a commercial scale was successful using conditions similar to those employed in the laboratory. The findings presented here suggest the potential for commercial culture of this species in the USA.

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Journal of the World Aquaculture Society