Influence of periphyton substrates and rearing density on Liza aurata growth and production in marine nursery ponds

M. Richard, J.T. Maurice, A. Anginot, F. Paticat, M.C.J. Verdegem, J.M.E. Hussenot

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The main objectives of this investigation were to test the effects of (i) the presence of periphyton substrates, (ii) rearing density and (iii) supplemental feeding with dry feed on the growth and production of golden mullet (Liza aurata) juveniles. Twenty-six 1 m2-cages were installed in a French marine pond from April till June 2008. Mullets were stocked in cages with or without substrate at a density of 0, 20, 40 or 60 individuals per cage. Each treatment was carried out in triplicate. In addition, 20 fish were put in three tanks and fed ad libitum with dry feed. The results showed that (i) although mullets were seen to graze on periphyton substrates, their presence did not affect mullet growth and production. In future studies, meshed substrates could be attached on hard structures to improve the efficiency of mullet grazing; (ii) individual growth was higher at low density due to a lower competition for space and food. Production increased with rearing density reflecting that food availability was not limiting in control cages; (iii) growth and net yield of mullets were lower in fed tanks than in natural ponds where food seemed to be more appropriate for wild mullet juveniles and where stress factors were lower. Finally, in contrast to the individual growth rate, the net fish yield in this experiment was greater than that recorded in other extensive and semi-intensive systems. It was equivalent to yields observed in other periphyton-based systems. Periphyton developed on the meshed walls of cages probably increased the natural productivity of the pond. As part of sustainable aquaculture development, the effluents of intensive farms could be exploited to produce periphyton on inflexible substrates and to rear mullet adults, which are more herbivorous than juveniles. This type of integrated system could be developed with other mullet species, such as Chelon labrosus or Mugil cephalus, whose growth rates are higher than L. aurata. Mullet production could be exploited by the sale of fillets and dried roe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • indian major carps
  • bacterial biofilm
  • fish production
  • grey mullet
  • polyculture
  • culture
  • phytoplankton
  • fertilization
  • aquaculture
  • community

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