Evaluation of the Suitability of Marine Copepods as an Alternative Live Feed in High-Health Fish Larval Production

  • P. Santhanam
  • N. Jeyaraj
  • K. Jothiraj
  • S. Ananth
  • S. Dinesh Kumar
  • P. Pachiappan


Copepods comprise the first vital link in the marine food chain between primary producers and fish. The fast-growing hatchery production of larvae for mariculture, as well as the increased attention on new species and ornamental fish cultures for replacing wild fisheries, requires the development of suitable larval feeds; this need cannot be met by conventional species of live feeds, such as rotifers and Artemia. Thus, interest in copepods has increased and the use of copepods as live feed in aquaculture has gained momentum. Copepods may be the only prey of acceptable size for small larvae of some fish species or the only type of live feed that is suitable for the rearing of fishes with altricial larvae. Marine copepods are the major diet for most fish larvae in the ocean. They have high amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), either from their phytoplankton diet or accumulated despite low PUFA levels in their diet. Furthermore, copepods play an important role in fish larval digestion by producing exogenous digestive enzymes. The newly hatched marine fish larvae are very small; hence, they cannot be fed rotifers as live feed for the first feeding. This chapter discusses the methods for rearing newly hatched marine fish Asian seabass Lates calcarifer larva fed with marine copepods as live feed for the first feeding.



The authors are thankful to the authorities of Bharathidasan University for the facilities provided. The authors are indebted to the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India for providing financial support for this work through a Major Research project (BT/PR10161/AAQ/3/371/2007; dated 20.06.2008). Authors are also thankful to Dr. A. R. T. Arasu, Dr. S. A. Ali, Principal Scientists and Dr. M. Kailasam and Dr. J. Shyama Dayal, Senior Scientists, Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai for their help in providing seabass larvae and analysis of amino acid contents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Santhanam
    • 1
  • N. Jeyaraj
    • 1
  • K. Jothiraj
    • 1
  • S. Ananth
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. Dinesh Kumar
    • 1
  • P. Pachiappan
    • 4
  1. 1.Marine Planktonology and Aquaculture Lab., Department of Marine Science, School of Marine SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  2. 2.Marine Planktonology & Aquaculture Lab., Department of Marine Science, School of Marine SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and FisheriesMinistry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Krishi BhavanNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Biotechnology, School of BiosciencesPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia

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