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Keywords:

  • Macrobrachium rosenbergii ;
  • GFP ;
  • growth trial;
  • genetic variation

Abstract

Giant freshwater prawn (GFP; Macrobrachium rosenbergii) aquaculture has expanded rapidly since 1990. Most local culture industries, however, have developed in an unsystematic way. Fiji has a small culture industry producing the ‘Anuenue’ strain; however, performance of this strain has never been systematically evaluated. Recently, some Fijian farmers have reported declines in stock productivity. The current project evaluated the relative performance of three exotic strains with different genetic backgrounds from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, against the ‘local’ strain in Fiji in a 4 × 3 replicated pond trial experiment. A total of 5827 prawns were harvested after 143 days growout. Individual growth rate and relative survival of the Fiji strain were not statistically different from any of the introduced strains, but Vietnam strain was superior to that of the Malaysia strain. Genetic diversity showed significant differences in variability among strains, with the Malaysian strain displaying the lowest genetic diversity. Indonesia strain showed that females were reaching maturation earlier than other strains and were smaller in size. This study suggests that Malaysian and Indonesian strains would constitute a poor choice for Fiji, whereas the Vietnam strain consistently performed well on all criteria measured. High variation among replicate ponds within strains unfortunately confounded among-strain variation.