• arachidonic acid;
  • egg quality;
  • feed;
  • larvae development;
  • lipids;
  • reproduction


Cultivated Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) entering their first year of gamete maturation were fed diets with different levels of arachidonic acid (ARA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for 6.5 months prior to commencement of spawning. Gravid females were stripped three times: at the beginning, peak and end of spawning. Lipid composition and egg and larval quality of 34 family crosses were investigated. Results indicated that ARA uptake into eggs from broodstock diet was highly efficient achieving proportions of ARA up to 84% higher in eggs than in the diet. EPA was 42–76% higher, and DHA was 155–173% higher in eggs than in diets. Cod fed the diet with the lowest EPA/ARA ratio had the greatest egg production. Eggs from fish on a diet with high ARA level had significantly higher fertilization and hatching success than those fed low levels of ARA. This diet produced on average 71 viable eggs g−1 female compared with 32.5 and 4 eggs in diet B and C, respectively. Furthermore, larval survival until 8 days posthatch was higher in diets with lower ARA levels. The combined results showed that ARA dietary supplementation and low EPA/ARA ratio yielded a greater number of viable larvae kg−1 female.