Biofouling development and its effect on growth and reproduction of the farmed pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera

Type Article
Date 2014-10
Language English
Author(s) Lacoste Elise1, Le Moullac GillesORCID2, Levy Peva2, Gueguen YannickORCID2, Gaertner-Mazouni Nabila1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Polynesie Francaise, Ecosyst Insulaires Oceaniens, UMR 241, Faaa 98702, Fr Polynesia.
2 : IFREMER, Ecosyst Insulaires Oceaniens, UMR 241, Taravao 98719, Fr Polynesia.
Source Aquaculture (0044-8486) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2014-10 , Vol. 434 , P. 18-26
DOI 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2014.07.012
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) Pearl oyster culture, Pinctada margaritifera, Biofouling, Growth, Reproduction
Abstract In bivalve aquaculture, dominant fouling organisms are filter feeders which can compete for food with reared bivalves, sometimes causing mortality or reducing their growth rate. This study investigated the effect of biofouling on the farmed pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera in two lagoons of French Polynesia. Survival, growth and reproduction of 2 year-old pearl oysters were monitored with regular sampling schedules, from the initial stage of colonization up to 20 months of biofouling accumulation. Control groups of pearl oysters were kept free of biofouling as is the current practice in pearl farms. After more than a year of monitoring, no significant difference was recorded in shell growth rate between pearl oysters reared with epibionts and the control group of pearl oysters, at both sites. Mean annual shell growth rate (height) was 30.5 ± 9.2 mm in Tahiti and 24.8 ± 7.7 mm in Mangareva. Neither the survival nor the reproduction indices were negatively affected by biofouling. In Mangareva, where biofouling development was quantified during 1 year, the rate of colonization appeared to be high during the first 3 months before slowing down. These results raise questions about the necessity of removing biofouling at this stage of pearl oyster production (i.e. before grafting).
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