• black rockfish;
  • body composition;
  • compensatory growth;
  • feed deprivation;
  • refeeding

ABSTRACT:  Compensatory growth, feeding rate, feed efficiency and chemical composition of juvenile black rockfish (mean weight 1.43 g) were investigated for 35 days after a 14-day feed deprivation treatment under four feeding conditions: one group continuously fed (control) and the other three groups fasted for 5 days (F5), 10 days (F10) and 14 days (F14). All fasted fish were re-fed from day 15. Only F5 achieved the same body weight as the control, indicating that complete compensation occurred in F5. The specific growth rate (SGR) of F5 was the highest at day 21 and then decreased thereafter, showing higher values than the control at days 21, 28 and 42. In contrast, although SGRs of F10 and F14 were higher than that of the control during the whole refeeding period except day 21, they did not catch up the control in body mass, indicating that only partial compensation occurred in F10 and F14. The feeding rate (FR) of all groups except F14 changed in a pattern similar to SGR (Spearman's rank correlation, rs > 0.9), suggesting that SGR varied depending on FR. Similar feeding efficiencies (FEs) were found in the four groups and they did not vary significantly during the whole refeeding period, suggesting that FE was not the factor affecting SGR. At day 14, the ratios of lipid to lean body mass in F10 and F14 were lower than those in the control and F5, and there was no difference between the control and F5. At day 49, however, only F14 showed a lower value than the other three groups, and there was no difference among the three groups. These results indicate that juvenile black rockfish fasted for 5–14 days can exhibit compensatory growth after refeeding, but timing and degree vary depending on the duration of feed deprivation.