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Metazoan parasites on gills of Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii do not rapidly proliferate after transfer to sea cages


Hayward, CJ and Aiken, H and Nowak, BF, Metazoan parasites on gills of Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii do not rapidly proliferate after transfer to sea cages, Aquaculture, 262, (1) pp. 10-16. ISSN 0044-8486 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2006.09.041


A relatively new and highly valuable aquaculture industry focuses on three species of bluefin tunas, which are captured from the wild and fattened for several months in sea cages. In teleost aquaculture, mortalities and extra production costs are very commonly associated with metazoan ectoparasites. In tuna, however, the production value lost due to diseases associated with ectoparasites is unknown. We collected epidemiological data on burdens of metazoans on the gills of farmed southern bluefin, Thunnus maccoyii, in a series of monthly samples of tuna from the time of stocking through to harvest (March to August, 2004; N = 210) in five sea cages on a farm off Port Lincoln, Australia. Three species were recorded; for one (a copepod, Pseudocycnus appendiculatus), there was a gradual, significant increase in both abundance (from a mean of 0.1 in March, to 3.83 in August) and prevalence (from 10% to 67.5%). For the other two species (a second copepod, Euryphorus brachypterus, and a polyopisthocotylean flatworm, Hexostoma thynni) there were no discernible trends in prevalences and abundances. These results contrast markedly with those of other intensively cultured species of finfishes, in which parasite epizootics are frequent. This finding may indicate that despite the stresses of captivity, tuna mount a robust immune response to ectoparasites; the relatively low stocking densities at which tuna are farmed may facilitate this. The fall in water temperature during farming (22 °C to 13 °C) may also reduce the reproductive rate of these ectoparasites. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hayward, CJ (Dr Craig Hayward)
UTAS Author:Aiken, H (Mr Hamish Aiken)
UTAS Author:Nowak, BF (Professor Barbara Nowak)
ID Code:49815
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:TAFI - Aquaculture
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2009-09-22

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