Rearing diet may determine fish restocking success: a case study of hatchery-reared juvenile meagre, Argyrosomus regius


  • María del Mar Gil Laboratori d’Investigacions Marines i Aqüicultura, LIMIA - IMEDEA (UIB-CSIC), Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados, Department of Ecology and Marine Resources, Fish Ecology Group
  • Miquel Palmer IMEDEA (UIB-CSIC), Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados, Department of Ecology and Marine Resources, Fish Ecology Group
  • María Dolores Hernández IMIDA Acuicultura. Consejería de Agricultura y Agua de la Región de Murcia
  • Amalia Grau Laboratori d’Investigacions Marines i Aqüicultura, LIMIA (Balearic Government)
  • Juana Durán Laboratori d’Investigacions Marines i Aqüicultura, LIMIA (Balearic Government).
  • Benjamín García García IMIDA Acuicultura. Consejería de Agricultura y Agua de la Región de Murcia
  • Miguel Jover Grupo de Acuicultura y Biodiversidad. Universitat Politècnica de Valencia
  • Elena Pastor Laboratori d’Investigacions Marines i Aqüicultura, LIMIA (Balearic Government)



Argyrosomus regius, restocking programme, production cost, fish quality, diet


The resilience of released hatchery-reared specimens increases with age and size, but production costs are also greater for these individuals. Therefore, for a given budget, the consequences of increasing age and size impose a trade-off between producing a large number of vulnerable (small) fish or a small number of resilient (large) fish. Once the optimal size for releasing fish has been defined, the choice of rearing protocol will determine the number and quality of the fish that can be released. In this study, different rearing protocols were compared using meagre juveniles (Argyrosomus regius), which are presently the target of a restocking programme conducted in the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). Seven different diets were compared during the grow-out phase to identify the diets that produced good-quality juveniles of a given size at the lowest cost. Most of the diets produced juveniles of suitable biological quality in terms of growth, fish condition (relationships between length and total weight, liver weight and mesenteric fat weight) and tissue biochemical composition. A semi-moist diet (Diet G) provided the best growth rate, closely followed by commercial meagre pellets (Diet A). In contrast, the cost of growing fish with Diet A was lower for any possible size at release. This study demonstrates the need to consider both growth rate and production cost to select the rearing protocol that maximizes the number of juveniles that can be produced for a given budget and desired release size. These considerations will ultimately increase the chance of success of restocking programmes.


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How to Cite

Gil M del M, Palmer M, Hernández MD, Grau A, Durán J, García García B, Jover M, Pastor E. Rearing diet may determine fish restocking success: a case study of hatchery-reared juvenile meagre, Argyrosomus regius. scimar [Internet]. 2015Dec.30 [cited 2023Dec.10];79(4):431-4. Available from:




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