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Fouling and predation; how do they affect growth and survival of the blacklip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, during nursery culture?
Pit, J.H.; Southgate, P.C. (2003). Fouling and predation; how do they affect growth and survival of the blacklip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, during nursery culture? Aquacult. Int. 11(6): 545-555. dx.doi.org/10.1023/b:aqui.0000013310.17400.97
In: Aquaculture International. Springer: London. ISSN 0967-6120, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Fouling; Growth; Juveniles; Nursery ponds; Pearl oysters; Predation; Pinctada margaritifera (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Pit, J.H., correspondent
  • Southgate, P.C.

Abstract
    This paper reports on 5 experiments conducted to assess the effect of cleaning regime and predation on growth and survival of blacklip pearl oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) juveniles in north Queensland, Australia. P. Magaritifera juveniles with a mean (±SE) dorso-ventral shell height (DVH) of 4.5 ± 0.1 mm were placed into plastic mesh trays and cleaned either every 4 or 8 weeks or left uncleaned for 16 weeks. Cleaning regime had a significant effect on growth and survival (P < 0.005). Lowest DVH (16.2 ± 1.0) was shown by oysters in uncleaned trays during 16 weeks compared to oysters in cleaned trays; however, there was no significant difference in DVH between oysters held in trays cleaned every 4 (19.4 ± 1.2) or 8 weeks (21.2 ± 0.8). In contrast lowest survival was shown by oysters held in trays that were cleaned every 4 weeks (30 ± 5%), but no differences were noted between oysters cleaned every 8 weeks (63 ± 4%) and oysters that were left uncleaned for 16 weeks (75 ± 8%). Predators of P. margaritifera in northern Australia included crabs, stomatopods, flatworms, gastropods and fish. The stomatopod, Gonodactylus falcatus, was the most destructive predator with individuals consuming in excess of 20 juvenile pearl oysters per week. The leather jacket, Paramonocanthus japonicus, did not kill pearl oysters, but trimmed the margin of oysters shells significantly reducing DVH when compared to control groups cultured without fish. Removing predators monthly had a significant effect on growth of pearl oysters compared to oysters in non-inspected trays; however monthly inspection of culture trays did not significantly improve oyster survival.

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