Comparative efficacy of trash fish versus compounded commercial feeds in cage aquaculture of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) (Bloch) and tiger grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) (Forsskål)

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Abstract

Trash fish/low valued fish is still the most commonly used feed in marine cage culture in Asia. Use of trash fish is controversial with regard to the sustainability of the farming practices, and related issues on environmental degradation. In this study, the results of farm based trials on Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) and tiger grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) to evaluate the efficacies of the use of commercial pellet feed in comparison to trash fish/low valued fish in marine cages in Thailand are presented. In spite of the variations observed in each of the farm sites, the results indicate that the overall growth performances and fish survival rates between the two feed types were similar, for both species. However, better cost-benefit and resource use were recorded for fish reared on trash fish/low valued fish. No significant differences were observed in water quality parameters, dissolved oxygen, transparency and ammonia, between sites where pellet or trash fish were used, inside and outside the cages and for both species. The results of the present study are discussed in the light of the current controversies on the use of trash fish/low valued fish in marine cage culture.

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