Recent advances within intensive Recirculated Aquaculture System cultivation of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa (Dana)

Per Meyer Jepsen, Jacob Kring Højgaard, Guillaume Drillet, Mohamed-Sofiane Mahjoub, Mouloud Rais, Aliona Novac, Johannes Schjelde, Claus V. B. Andersen, Benni Winding Hansen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Danish aquaculture has within recent years focused upon rearing of new marine fish species. A major challenge for rearing of marine fish species is relevant diets for their fish larvae. Copepods and their larvae stage “nauplii” are well documented as the ideal live feed for a variety of marine aquaculture species. Copepodites and nauplii are superior as live feed compared to rotifers and Artemia both in terms of nutritional value, behaviour and prey size.
In 1980s the copepod Acartia tonsa (Dana) was isolated in the Danish strait of Øresund and has been studied and kept in cultures ever since. An interesting trait with the species is that the eggs can be provoked into a resting stage, where the egg can be stored for one year, similar to Artemia cysts. This is the most promising storage technique for distribution of copepod eggs to aquaculture facilities worldwide. The eggs can be hatched and the nauplii can be feed to marine fish larvae.
A restriction is that copepod cultures for producing eggs are after 30 years of research still not stable and in large enough scale for bulk production of eggs. Recently a unique copepod Recirculated Aquaculture System (RAS) at Roskilde University (Denmark) was constructed as a part of the IMPAQ project “IMProvement of AQuaculture high quality fish fry production”. We present recent advance within RAS culture for copepods, and lesson learned from rearing the specie. Further we present physical and biological culture restrictions in terms of water quality (NH3), chemical and physical copepod densities, and its effects on copepod egg production (fecundity).
We found that NH3 affect nauplii cultures negatively at levels above 30 μg NH3 L-1, and adult cultures at levels above 477 μg NH3 L-1. In terms of chemical and physical densities egg production was limited at densities above 2000 adults L-1.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Oct 2013
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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