The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 54(2), 2002
The Annual Dan Popper Symposium


CAN GILTHEAD SEABREAM, SPARUS AURATA, BE CULTURED IN
EIN TAMAR WATER?A MODEL FOR ASSESSING THE FEASIBILITY OF
MARINE FISH CULTURE IN THE ARAVA S BRACKISH WATER


Benny Ron¹*, Adi Peduel¹, Keren Bresler¹, Daniel Conijesky¹, Micha Eshchar¹, Rami Alon², Noam Mozes¹

1 Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Center for Mariculture, Fish Physiology Department, P.O.Box 1212, Eilat 88112, Israel
2 Ein Tamar, Center for Research and Development, Tamar Municipality, Israel


Abstract

As high quality water resources become increasingly limited,the use of marginal lands and water resources for food production is becoming a necessity. There is great interest in developing the technology to profitably produce high-priced fish with marginal resources. The chemical contents of water can significantly influence the growth and survival of fish, not only from the aspect of osmoregulation. A protocol was developed for assessing the feasibility of culturing gilthead seabream in brackish water from the well at Ein Tamar. Our regimen included the assessment of growth and survival potential by culturing fish for a short term in the test water, and in sea water for comparison. During long-term culture of the fish in both water sources, the cortisol level, innate immune system activity and tissue pathology (by histology) were monitored to determine the long-term effects of the specific conditions.

There was significant retardation in growth of fish that were raised in the brackish water, but there were no significant differences in survival rate, cortisol level or activity of the immune system. Fish grown in the brackish water had a higher level of contamination by Mycobacterium marinum after six months, but all the fish were found to carry the disease.

The closed water system with its multiple water supply system enables fish culture in abnormal conditions to be compared with fish culture in conventional conditions. Thus, the feasibility of a project can be assessed before large investments are made.

*Corresponding author. Fax: 972-8-6375761, e-mail: ronbenny@agri.huji.ac.il

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