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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ahmed Mustafa


Department of Biology


Food demand is increasing with the exponentially growing world population and aquaculture is the fastest growing alternative food source to meet the demand. Marine animals account for 16% protein demand worldwide and among the marine animals, sea urchin is getting importance as a delicacy. Sea urchin is used as food, medicine and research animal model, and is harvested in many part of the world. But capture, handling and crowding can cause stress to the animals in aquaculture which leads to the low yield and low quality protein. Since stress is causing loss to the aquaculture, it is important to determine the stress responses and identify the way of stress modulation without doing any harm to the animals as well as to the environment. In this study, a series of physiological and immunological parameters were observed to evaluate the possibility of rearing sea urchins (Arbacia punctulata) using different commercial aquaculture feed. Sea urchins were reared in lab aquaculture system in different groups - stressed and unstressed, treated with four different feed [control feed (salmon feed) and hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO)-supplemented salmon feed, sunflower oil (SO) -supplemented salmon feed and linseed oil (LO)-supplemented salmon feed]. In this experiment, we acquired the test animals and acclimated them for two weeks in optimal conditions. The experiment ran for five weeks, and the animals were sampled terminally at the end of five weeks. Condition factors, gonado-somatic index, packed cell volume, coelomic fluid protein, total and differential cell counts, and coelomocyte phagocytic capacity and respiratory burst activity were observed to measure the stress and immune response. All sea urchin groups survived and did well, but sea urchins fed hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO)-supplemented salmon feed showed better responses followed by sea urchins fed linseed oil (LO)-supplemented salmon feed.



Possibility of Growing Sea Urchins in Aquaculture Using Artificial Feed Supplements Different Than Natural Feed Found in the Ocean

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