Turbulence effect on survival and feeding of Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis larvae, on the basis of a rearing experiment


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ABSTRACT:  Physical conditions such as oceanic turbulence related to food availability are considered to be important factors affecting fish larval survival. Rearing experiments were conducted to elucidate the effects of turbulence on the survival and feeding rates during the initial feeding period of Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis. Six levels of turbulence intensity were provided by changing flow rates from pipes set on the bottom of rearing tanks. The result showed a dome-shaped relationship between turbulence level and survival rate, in which the feeding rate appeared higher at a logged turbulence energy dissipation rate of −6.32, and decreased at both higher and lower turbulence levels. Compared with the turbulence intensity in the ocean, the optimal turbulence level for Pacific bluefin tuna larvae corresponded to the turbulence caused by sea surface winds with speeds of 4–12.5 m/s. The estimated optimal turbulence intensity for Pacific bluefin tuna larvae is comparable to that for yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares.