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Use of fresh vegetable discards as sea urchin diet: effect on gonad index and quality

  • Autori: Vizzini, S; Miccichè, L; Vaccaro, A; Mazzola, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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This study evaluated the exploitation of unprocessed agricultural discards in the form of fresh vegetable leaves as a diet for the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus through the assessment of their effects on gonad yield and quality. A stock of wild-caught P. lividus was fed on discarded leaves from three different species (Beta vulgaris, Brassica oleracea, and Lactuca sativa) and the macroalga Ulva lactuca for 3 months under controlled conditions. At the beginning and end of the experiment, total and gonad weight were measured, while gonad and diet total carbon (C%), nitrogen (N%), d13C, d15N, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins were analyzed. The results showed that agricultural discards provided for the maintenance of gonad index and nutritional value (carbohydrate, lipid, and protein content) of initial specimens. L. sativa also improved gonadic color. The results of this study suggest that fresh vegetable discards may be successfully used in the preparation of more balanced diets for sea urchin aquaculture. The use of agricultural discards in prepared diets offers a number of advantages, including an abundant resource, the recycling of discards into new organic matter, and reduced pressure on marine organisms (i.e., macroalgae) in the production of food for cultured organisms.