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Stocking density and artificial habitat influence stock structure and yield from intensive nursery systems for mud crabs Scylla serrata (Forsskål 1775)

Mann, D.L. and Asakawa, T. and Kelly, B. and Lindsay, T. and Paterson, B. (2007) Stocking density and artificial habitat influence stock structure and yield from intensive nursery systems for mud crabs Scylla serrata (Forsskål 1775). Aquaculture Research, 38 (14). pp. 1580-1587.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2109.2006.01626.x

Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/home

Abstract

Intensive nursery systems are designed to culture mud crab postlarvae through a critical phase in preparation for stocking into growout systems. This study investigated the influence of stocking density and provision of artificial habitat on the yield of a cage culture system. For each of three batches of postlarvae, survival, growth and claw loss were assessed after each of three nursery phases ending at crab instars C1/C2, C4/C5 and C7/C8. Survival through the first phase was highly variable among batches with a maximum survival of 80% from megalops to a mean crab instar of 1.5. Stocking density between 625 and 2300 m-2 did not influence survival or growth in this first phase. Stocking densities tested in phases 2 and 3 were 62.5, 125 and 250 m -2. At the end of phases 2 and 3, there were five instar stages present, representing a more than 20-fold size disparity within the populations. Survival became increasingly density-sensitive following the first phase, with higher densities resulting in significantly lower survival (phase 2: 63% vs. 79%; phase 3: 57% vs. 64%). The addition of artificial habitat in the form of pleated netting significantly improved survival at all densities. The mean instar attained by the end of phase 2 was significantly larger at a lower stocking density and without artificial habitat. No significant effect of density or habitat on harvest size was detected in phase 3. The highest incidence of claw loss was 36% but was reduced by lowering stocking densities and addition of habitat. For intensive commercial production, yield can be significantly increased by addition of a simple net structure but rapidly decreases the longer crablets remain in the nursery.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Keywords:Cannibalism; density; growth; mud crab; nursery; Scylla serrata; shelter; survival.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Aquaculture
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Shellfish fisheries
Deposited On:24 Feb 2009 06:23
Last Modified:06 Sep 2010 07:57

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