Growth of cusk eel Genypterus chilensis juveniles in culture conditions

The cusk eel Genypterus chilensis (Guichenot, 1848) is a fish demanded by the Chilean market. Their catches have remained under 1,000 ton per year in the decade 2000-2010, at a price of US$7 kg(-1). The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth of first generation juveniles produced by wild parents in culture conditions. Growth of 128 juveniles was estimated for five months in the hatchery of CIMARQ, Valparaiso, Chile, distributed into five size groups in tanks with seawater (35 g L-1), and temperature range: 12-14 degrees C. Initial averages weight ranging from lower to the larger group 4 g (11 cm) to 23 g (18 cm). They were fed with commercial marine fish pellets. Total length, weight, estimated average, percentage of weight growth, specific growth rate, coefficient of thermal growth and feed conversion rate were monthly measured. The lower group at 5 months reached an average of 16 +/- 7 g (16 +/- 2 cm) and the largest group 75 +/- 17 g (27 +/- 6 cm). Their monthly average were adjusted with R-2 = 0.9 to the equations P = 3,845e(0,300t) and P= 20,63e(0,240t). Monthly feed conversion rates ranged from 8.6 to 0.3 at month 5 for the lower group and from 0.6 to 0.2 for the larger. Projected growth from the initial weight of 4 and 23 g to harvest weight of 2 kg could be obtained between 26 and 18 months for the smaller and larger group respectively.

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