Evaluation of methods for assessing the retention of seed mussels (Perna canaliculus) prior to seeding for grow-out

Carton, A.G., Jeffs, A.G., Foote, G., Palmer, H., and Bilton, J. (2007) Evaluation of methods for assessing the retention of seed mussels (Perna canaliculus) prior to seeding for grow-out. Aquaculture, 262 (2-4). pp. 521-527.

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Abstract

The process of catching and relaying wild seed green-lipped mussels, Perna canaliculus, onto grow-out farms in New Zealand is extremely inefficient with the majority of the seed mussels being lost after transfer, mostly due to secondary settlement behaviour of the seed. In an attempt to identify the causes of this behaviour the retention of seed mussels was experimentally determined after exposure to three sub-lethal stressors, desiccation, starvation, and temperature fluctuation. In addition, two types of mussel seed behaviour were tested for their potential for developing a commercially useful method for identifying seed mussels with high retention properties prior to seeding. The two behaviours were the ability of seed mussels to attach by byssus threads to the substrate in slow flowing water, and the ability of seed mussels to pedal walk vertically up through a substrate filled column. Of the three stressors tested only desiccation and starvation significantly reduced mussel seed retention compared to “unstressed” controls by 38% (P < 0.05) and 42% (P < 0.05) respectively. Of the two types of mussel seed behaviour used for attempting to sort seed mussels, only the ability of seed mussels to attach by byssus threads to the substrate in slow flowing water showed any sensitivity for identifying individuals with higher retention properties (P < 0.05). Seed mussels that failed to byssal attach had a 23% lower mean retention, after 10 d experimental grow-out compared to seed that successfully attached. Although significant, this difference was relatively small and is unlikely to provide the basis for the development of a useful commercial seed mussel sorting method. Desiccation and starvation are both stressors that seed mussels are likely to experience during their commercial harvesting, transportation and seeding process. Consequently, seed mussels need to be relayed quickly and under moist conditions to reduce the potential for starvation and desiccation stress. Identifying seed mussels in poor nutritional condition and feeding them prior to seeding out on farms could also help to prevent the intermittent large scale seed mussel losses currently experienced. The application of these findings will assist in making more efficient use of the wild seed mussel resource and significantly lower financial losses to growers in New Zealand.

Item ID: 9509
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: retention; mussel; Perna canaliculus; seeding; quality; fitness; stressor
ISSN: 1873-5622
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2010 01:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 10%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 80%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 10%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830103 Aquaculture Molluscs (excl. Oysters) @ 100%
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