Feeding ragworm (Nereis virens Sars) to common sole (Solea solea L.) alleviates nutritional anaemia and stimulates growth

J. Kals*, R.J.W. Blonk, A.P. Palstra, Tim Sobotta, Fulvio Mongile, O. Schneider, J.V. Planas, J.W. Schrama, J.A.J. Verreth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Common sole fed with commercial pellets develop anaemia and are restricted in their growth performance. The anaemia can be the result of a difference in feed intake, a nutritional deficiency, an inflammatory response to infection or combinations of these aspects. In this study, it was investigated whether feeding ragworm would alleviate the anaemia and stimulate growth. Sole were fed one of three diets: a commercial feed, a commercial feed treated with ragworm extract or chopped ragworm. By comparing groups, three hypotheses were tested: (1) feeding ragworm alleviates the anaemia and positively affectS the sole’s metabolic performance reflected in feed intake, feed efficiency and growth; (2) anaemia is alleviated by a higher feed intake when feeding ragworm and (3)
anaemia is caused by an inflammatory response to infection. The sole fed with a commercial diet suffered from anaemia. Feeding sole with ragworm alleviated the anaemia as the average haematocrit level nearly doubled in these fish as
compared to fish fed pellets. Investigation of the expression of genes in the liver indicated that the anaemia in sole fed pellets is a nutritional anaemia and not an anaemia due to an inflammatory response. Sole fed ragworm showed improved
growth which may be a consequence of the higher haematocrit levels in these fish increasing their oxygen carrying capacity. Addition of ragworm extract to the pellets levelled the feed intake between pellets and ragworm, but did not
improve the anaemic state of sole and had only a limited effect on growth
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-759
JournalAquaculture Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • solea-solea l
  • nereis virens Sars
  • growth
  • anaemia
  • hepcidin
  • gene expression


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