Feeding frequency influences the growth performance of yellowfin seabream (Acanthopagrus arabicus) in cage culture
This study examined the growth response of yellowfin seabream, Acanthopagrus arabicus, reared in floating net cage fed at variable daily frequencies. Thirty healthy fish (49.7±0.3 g initial weight) were stocked in 12 separate net cages (1.5x 1.5 x 1.5m) assigned to four different frequency groups, two, three, four and six times/day designated as FF1, FF2, FF3 and FF4, respectively. Four semi-purified diets 42% protein level and were used to feed at seven percent body weight (%BW) per day for a total period of forty five days. The fish length and weight data were taken fortnightly and the feeding was adjusted according to the new weight. The fishes remained healthy and active during the whole experimental period, 95-100% survival rate was recorded. At the end of the feeding trial final weight, average daily weight gain (ADG) and specific growth rate (SGR) values were significantly higher for fish in groups FF3 and FF4 compared to FF1 and FF2. The SGR was high at six times/day (FF4, 1.3±0.04) and four times/day frequency (FF3, 1.3±0.02) with no significant difference, however, a significant reduction in growth was recorded at two times/day (FF1, 1.09±0.01) and three times/day (FF2, 0.99±0.02) frequency. There were no significant differences in fish whole body proximate composition (protein, ash, moisture and lipid) of fish fed in all groups. It may be concluded from the present study that yellowfin seabream, A.arabicus, was assessed for the first time and that it may be grown in floating cages effectively by feeding four times/day which would yield significantly better results under given rearing conditions.