Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) is a highly prized species as a game and food fish, with a growing interest in marine finfish aquaculture. However, growth is one of the major problems found in this species. One way to stimulate fish growth is to increase feed intake using feeding stimulants and the action of these substances is more effective when it comes from the natural prey of each fish species. The present study will evaluate the mole crab extract (Emerita sp, an important and frequent food item in juvenile Florida pompano natural diet) as a feeding stimulant and assess if the addition of this substance in the aquafeed improves its palatability and acceptability, allowing the replacement of fish meal by a more sustainable ingredient (plant-based protein). Fish will be fed a formulated diet, supplemented with feeding stimulants from mole crabs, with different levels of fish meal replacement. Therefore, this study represents an important and essential attempt to achieve the consistent and successful replacement of the fish meal for marine carnivorous fish, aiming the environmental and economic sustainability for the aquaculture industry.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: