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Keywords:

  • cobia;
  • shrimp waste meal;
  • growth;
  • chitinase;
  • immunostimulation

Abstract

The effects of replacing fish meal (FM) with shrimp waste meal (SWM) in diets fed to juvenile cobia (Rachycentron canadum) were investigated through a 6-week trial. SWM was added to replace FM at fractions of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% of the diet. The result showed the survival rates of the fish were higher than 86.7%. The weight gain and feed conversion rate showed an increasing trend as the SWM proportion in diet increased from 0% to 25%, but the protein efficiency ratio showed a decreasing trend in efficiency. In addition, the hepatosomatic index increased significantly when the SWM percentage was 20% and 25%. There were no significant differences in the protein and ash concentration of the muscle among all dietary groups. However, the muscle lipid content was low when fish fed in diets with high SWM level. Chitinase activity was extremely high in the pyloric caeca tissue of cobia, and increased specific activities of chitinase were only found in the foregut of cobia fed diets containing 10% SWM for a 6-week period. A challenge test showed that SWM could not enhance cobia resistance to Photobacterium damselae ssp. piscicida infection. Our results suggest that the administration of a 10% SWM diet could potentially reduce the use of FM in the diet of cobia.