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Rearing experiences of the polychaete Sabella spallanzanii in the Gulf of Taranto (Mediterranean Sea, Italy)

April 26, 2014

In order to utilize the biomass of the polychaete Sabella spallanzanii Gmelin as a dietary supplement for fish nourishment, we conducted some experiences of rearing this worm in the Mediterranean Sea. A preliminary study on the growth of this species on suspended plastic nets was conducted in two sites of the Apulian coast with different trophic features. Data for the first 12 months show that S. spallanzanii reared in eutrophic conditions grows producing a biomass higher than the natural population. The acquired experience was afterward tested in a pilot plant located in the Mar Piccolo of Taranto, a eutrophic area where polychaetes were co-cultured withMytilus galloprovincialis within a long-line farm. The slight mortality recorded during the first 2 months and quite negligible after 4 months, the high increase in volume and biomass of the reared polychaetes, especially at high density (70 individuals for each net), demonstrated the advantage of rearing S. spallanzanii in the pilot plant with low cost of production and high profit. If the acquired technology is applied to a medium farm containing up to 400 sectors, the biomass produced indeed might reach about 1.36 tons/year. In conclusion, on the basis of our results, we demonstrated the possibility to obtain high-value worm biomass coupled to mussel biomass in a completely non-fed culturing system without increasing, but presumably reducing the environmental impact due to mussel farming.

Giangrande A, Pierri C, Fanelli G, Schirosi R, Licciano M, Stabili L, in press: Rearing experiences of the polychaete Sabella spallanzanii in the Gulf of Taranto (Mediterranean Sea, Italy), Aquaculture International, doi:10.1007/s10499-014-9773-7. Article (subscription required).



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