Growth response of European sea bass under different starvation cycles and feeding rates

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The compensatory growth response of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) faced cycling starvation and restricted ration was assessed. Juveniles (10.5 g) were stocked into 15 tanks at a density of 25 fish per tank. Five different feeding regimes were tested on triplicate groups of fish: CSatiation: control fed for 60 days without deprivation, CRestricted: 25% restricted feeding, S-R: 1 day starvation then 4 days CRestricted feeding, R-F: 1 day CRestricted feeding then 4 days CSatiation feeding, and, finally, S-F: 1 day starvation then 4 days CSatiation feeding. The specific growth rate of fish in the CSatiation (2.5±0.06 %/day), S-F (2.5±0.11 %/day) and R-F (2.4±0.18 %/day) were significantly higher than that of CRestricted (2.2±0.05 %/day) or S-R (2.0±0.01 %/day). Fish in S-F group was able to achieve catching up with the CSatiation. There was no significant difference in feed conversion rates but R-F and S-F consumed ~34% more feed than CSatiation following the first re-feeding day. While the highest lipid content was observed in CSatiation (14.4 %), S-R (33.3 % dry matter) had the highest water content compare to the CSatiation and CRestricted (37.8 and 36.9 % dry matter, respectively). In conclusion, it may be concluded that sea bass has rapid response to cycling starvation/re-feeding and that a 25% restricted feeding ratio is insufficient to invoke a compensatory growth response in sea bass.

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