Diet and Water Source Effects on Larval Red King Crab Cultivation

Diet and Water Source Effects on Larval Red King Crab Cultivation

S. Persselin and B. Daly

Diet and Water Source Effects on Larval Red King Crab CultivationThis is part of Biology and Management of Exploited Crab Populations under Climate Change
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Description

King crab larval culture has expanded from small-scale research to hatchery and stock enhancement feasibility studies in Alaska. The goal of this project was to improve red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) larval survival in culture by assessing diets and water sources in two separate experiments. Diet treatments included (1) newly hatched Artemia nauplii, and (2) newly hatched Artemia nauplii and the diatom Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii; both treatments were conducted at facilities in Kodiak and Seward, Alaska. The water source study was conducted at the Seward facility and treatments included (1) natural seawater from Resurrection Bay, and (2) artificial seawater made from (Instant Ocean®) sea salt.

At both facilities, mean survival to the glaucothoe stage was significantly higher and mean larval duration was significantly shorter for larvae fed the Artemia-diatom diet. Larval duration and survival to the glaucothoe stage were not significantly different between facilities. In Kodiak, larval survival and duration were carried through to the first juvenile stage (C1); all glaucothoe molted to C1 on the Artemia-diatom diet whereas only two glaucothoe molted to C1 on the Artemia-only diet by the termination of the experiment. In Seward, mean survival to glaucothoe and mean larval duration were not significantly different between larvae reared in artificial seawater and natural seawater. For higher yield in larval red king crab cultivation, a diet including T. nordenskioeldii is recommended while artificial seawater is likely unnecessary.

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