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Influence of feeding regime on intraspecific competition, fin damage and growth in 1+ Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar L.) held in freshwater production cages

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Aquaculture Research ; Volume 38. p. 1137–1143. 2007

Noble, Chris; Kadri, Sunil; Mitchell, David; Huntingford, Felicity

The feeding behaviour, growth and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of cage-held Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar L.) were studied when in 576 m(3) (12 m x 12 m x 4 m) commercial freshwater cages under ambient water temperature (8.84 +/- 3.53 degrees C) and photoperiod (11.02 +/- 2.05 h) for 205 days. The effect of feeding regime on fin damage was also investigated. Six groups (n=31 234 +/- 2051 fish group(-1), initial stocking density 1.25 +/- 0.14 kg m(-3)) were fed to satiation using either (a) an imposed regime involving scheduled, fixed ration feeding every 10 min from dawn till dusk or (b) on demand from dawn till dusk using commercial interactive feedback systems. During feeding, there were no significant differences in aggression although swimming speeds and turning angles were significantly higher in fish under the imposed regime. On-demand feeding significantly reduced the incidence of dorsal fin damage. There was no clear relationship between fish size, feed regime and the incidence of fin damage until 1 week before the fish were transferred to marine cages, when the smallest fish under each feeding regime had the highest incidence of fin damage. Interestingly, growth did not differ between regimes, but fish under the imposed regime were significantly overfed and achieved higher FCRs.

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