Aerobic swimming in intensive finfish aquaculture: applications for production, mitigation and selection

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) McKenzie David1, Palstra Arjan P.2, Planas Josep3, Mackenzie Simon4, Bégout Marie-LaureORCID5, Thorarensen Helgi6, Vandeputte Marc5, 7, Mes Daan8, Rey Sonia4, de Boeck Gudrun9, Domenici Paolo10, Skov Peter V.11
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC Université Montpellier CNRS IRD Ifremer Montpellier, France
2 : Research Animal Breeding and Genomics Wageningen Livestock Research Wageningen University Wageningen ,he Netherlands
3 : Facultat de Biologia Universitat de Barcelona Barcelona ,Spain
4 : Institute of Aquaculture University of Stirling Stirling, UK
5 : Plateforme Experimentale de Palavas Ifremer Palavas‐les‐Flots, France
6 : Hólar University College Sauðárkrókur Iceland
7 : INRAE AgroParisTech GABI Université Paris‐Saclay Jouy‐en‐Josas, France
8 : Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences Norwegian University of Life Sciences Oslo ,Norway
9 : Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research Department of Biology University of Antwerp Antwerp ,Belgium
10 : IAS‐CNR Istituto per lo studio degli impatti Antropici e Sostenibilità in ambiente marino Sezione di Oristano Località Sa Mardini Torregrande (Oristano),Italy
11 : DTU Aqua Section for Aquaculture The North Sea Research Centre Technical University of Denmark Hirtshals ,Denmark
Source Reviews In Aquaculture (1753-5123) (Wiley), 2021-01 , Vol. 13 , N. 1 , P. 138-155
DOI 10.1111/raq.12467
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) aerobic exercise, growth, maturation, selection, stress, welfare

We review knowledge on applications of sustained aerobic swimming as a tool to promote productivity and welfare of farmed fish species. There has been extensive interest in whether providing active species with a current to swim against can promote growth. The results are not conclusive but the studies have varied in species, life stage, swimming speed applied, feeding regime, stocking density and other factors. Therefore, much remains to be understood about mechanisms underlying findings of ‘swimming‐enhanced growth’, in particular to demonstrate that swimming can improve feed conversion ratio and dietary protein retention under true aquaculture conditions. There has also been research into whether swimming can alleviate chronic stress, once again on a range of species and life stages. The evidence is mixed but swimming does improve recovery from acute stresses such as handling or confinement. Research into issues such as whether swimming can improve immune function and promote cognitive function is still at an early stage and should be encouraged. There is promising evidence that swimming can inhibit precocious sexual maturation in some species, so studies should be broadened to other species where precocious maturation is a problem. Swimming performance is a heritable trait and may prove a useful selection tool, especially if it is related to overall robustness. More research is required to better understand the advantages that swimming may provide to the fish farmer, in terms of production, mitigation and selection.

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McKenzie David, Palstra Arjan P., Planas Josep, Mackenzie Simon, Bégout Marie-Laure, Thorarensen Helgi, Vandeputte Marc, Mes Daan, Rey Sonia, de Boeck Gudrun, Domenici Paolo, Skov Peter V. (2021). Aerobic swimming in intensive finfish aquaculture: applications for production, mitigation and selection. Reviews In Aquaculture, 13(1), 138-155. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :