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Sustainable semi-intensive polyculture of seabream and sole in earthen ponds

AuthorsFerreira, Hugo; Ramalho Ribeiro, Ana; Dias, Jorge; Yúfera, Manuel ; Arias, Alberto M. ; Falcão, Manuela; Serpa, Dalila; Aires, Tiago; Pousão-Ferreira, P.; Cunha, Maria Emilia; Valente, Luisa M. P.; Dinis, M. T.; Conceição, L. E. C.
Issue DateSep-2010
PublisherEuropean Aquaculture Society
CitationAquaculture Europe 35(3): 17-21 (2010)
AbstractEarthen ponds are the main production system for seabass and seabream in Portugal and in Southern Spain, in particular in Cádiz province. Different farms use various levels of stocking densities and pond sizes, but in general these are semi-intensive systems covering large areas with ponds ranging from one to several hectares and production levels from 0.5 to 6 Kg/m3 (mostly below 2 kg/m3) at the end of the production cycle. Although seabass and seabream are traditionally the target species produced in such ponds, there is commonly natural recruitment of wild larvae of other fish species, including Senegalese sole. Previous attempts at ongrowing sole in ponds with seabass and seabream as added value gave varied results in terms of number of individuals recovered, but sole growth rates were promising. Polyculture of seabass and seabream is already an established practice, with proportions of 4:1 normally used. In seabass dominated ponds seabream is used to control growth of macroalgae and to clean the ponds. When seabream production dominates, the carnivorous nature of seabass is used to control populations of smaller fish which enter the ponds naturally and might compete for feed. Polyculture of species from different trophic levels has also been considered an efficient and environmentally sound strategy to minimise the impacts of aquaculture systems, since an important fraction of dissolved nutrients and organic matter is recycled within the pond (Buschmann et al. 1996, Sorgeloos 2001, World Bank 2006).
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