Evaluation of Culture Methods for Two Marine Baitfish Species, Pinfish, Lagodon Rhomboides, and Pigfish, Orthopristis Ch...

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Evaluation of Culture Methods for Two Marine Baitfish Species, Pinfish, Lagodon Rhomboides, and Pigfish, Orthopristis Chrysoptera
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1 online resource (134 p.)
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english
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DiMaggio, Matthew A
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University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Forest Resources and Conservation
Committee Chair:
Ohs, Cortney
Committee Co-Chair:
Petty, Denise
Committee Members:
Baker, Shirley M
Adams, Charles M
Creswell, Leroy

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Subjects / Keywords:
aquaculture -- baitfish -- pigfish -- pinfish
Forest Resources and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences thesis, Ph.D.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
Aquaculture of marine baitfish species has the potential to provide retailers and anglers with a consistent supply of live bait and strengthen domestic aquaculture production through diversification. The pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides, and pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera are two popular marine baitfish species that have been identified as strong candidates for commercial production, yet there is paucity of information regarding their culture methods. Thus, the objectives of this study were to elucidate appropriate captive spawning, larval rearing, and grow out methods.  Captive pinfish were induced to spawn with a single injection of a salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue with a dopamine antagonist (Ovaprim®). Successful culture of pinfish larvae revealed first feeding to occur at 3 days post hatch (DPH) and established a successful larval feeding regime using rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis, and Artemia. Larvae were observed to have completed swim bladder inflation by 19 DPH, with 100% percent of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by the same date. Larval survival ranged from 10% to 117% through 33 DPH. Results from Ovaprim® and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) dose evaluation experiments showed low dose Ovaprim® (0.25, 0.50 mL/kg) and 4000 IU/kg HCG to be the most advantageous for successful spawning induction of pinfish.  A fecundity of 1,147,149 eggs/female (2,959 eggs/g body weight) was calculated from 58 volitional spawning events in captive pigfish. Larval survival ranged from 6.5 –100.0% through 25 days post hatch (DPH). Larvae were observed to initiate swim bladder inflation by 9 DPH, with 100% percent of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by 19 DPH. This study represents the first report of repeated captive volitional spawning of pigfish with successful protracted larval rearing. Spawning assessments with pigfish indicated superior performance and increased egg and larval quality with the 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim® dose. Spawning reliability was questionable with all HCG doses investigated. Findings from pigfish stocking density experiments revealed similar trends in growth and survival for tested densities. Specific growth rate estimates ranged from 2.02 ± 0.31 – 4.38 ± 0.59% for both experiments. Densities up to 0.5 fish/L (4.70 kg/m3) appear conducive to captive culture although higher densities should be investigated to possibly reduce intraspecific aggression.
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local:
Adviser: Ohs, Cortney.
Local:
Co-adviser: Petty, Denise.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-08-31
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by Matthew A DiMaggio.

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Applicable rights reserved.
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lcc - LD1780 2012
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UFE0044600:00001


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1 EVALUATION OF CULTURE METHODS FOR TWO MARINE BAITFISH SPECIES, PINFISH, L agodon rhomboides AND PIGFISH, O rthopristis chrysoptera By MATTHEW A. DIMAGGIO A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Matthew A. DiMaggio

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3 To my wife, my best friend

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The following study would not have been possible wi thout the help of numerous individuals. I thank Meghan Anderson, Audrey Beany, Eric Cassiano, Kelly Chang, Shawn DeSantis, Scott Grabe, John Marcellus and Lindsay Onjukka for their tireless assistance throughout the course of numerous experiments I recogn ize Dr. Todd Sink for his assistance with physiological evaluations and Dr. Frank Chapman fo r use of vital laboratory instrumentation. I would like to especially thank Jason Broach for all of his hard work and contributions to this research over the last t wo years. I express my gratitude to my committee member s Dr s Denise Petty, Chuck Adams, Shirley Baker and LeRoy Creswell for their continued guidance and support of my graduate education. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my advisor and friend Dr. Cortney Ohs for allowing me the latitude and resources to pursue my varied research int erests over the last six years. His experience and insight has been a valuable resource throughout this process. To my parents, who taught me the value of ha rd work and sacrifice, I am grateful. I also thank my family for their encouragement throughout my educational endeavors. Finally, I thank my wife who has been by my side for the last 10 years. Without her love and support I would not be the person I am to day.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ .................. 13 2 INDUCED VOLITIONAL SPAWNI NG AND LARVAL REARING OF PINFISH, Lagodon rhomboides ................................ ................................ .............................. 17 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 17 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 18 Pinfish Broodstock Acquisition ................................ ................................ ......... 18 Induced Spawning ................................ ................................ ............................ 19 Egg Incubation ................................ ................................ ................................ 20 Larval Rearing ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 21 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 23 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 24 3 CAPTIVE VOLITIONAL SPAWNING AND LARVAL REARING OF PIGFISH, O rthopristis chrysoptera ................................ ................................ .......................... 30 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 30 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 31 Pigfish Broodstock Acquisition and Acclimation ................................ ............... 31 Spawning and Egg Incubation ................................ ................................ .......... 32 Larval Rearing ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 33 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 36 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 37 4 EVALUATI ON OF OVAPRIM AND HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN DOSES ON SPAWNING INDUCTION AND EGG AND LARVAL QUALITY OF PINFISH, Lagodon rhomboides ................................ ................................ .............. 43 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 43 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 46 Broodstock Acquisition and Conditioning ................................ ......................... 46 Ovaprim Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ .............. 47 HCG Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ...................... 50

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6 Water Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 51 Statistical Analysis ................................ ................................ ............................ 51 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 52 Ovaprim Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ................. 52 HCG Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ...................... 56 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 59 5 EVALUATION OF OVAPRIM AND HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN DOSES ON SPAWNING INDUCTION AND EGG AND LARVAL QUALITY OF PIGFISH, Orthopristis ch rysoptera ................................ ................................ ......... 76 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 76 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 79 Broodstock Acquisition a nd Conditioning ................................ ......................... 79 Ovaprim Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ .............. 80 HCG Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ...................... 83 Water Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 84 Statistical Analysis ................................ ................................ ............................ 84 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 86 Ovapri m Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ................. 86 HCG Dose Evaluation ................................ ................................ ...................... 89 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 92 6 EFFE CT OF STOCKING DENSITY ON GROWTH, SURVIVAL, AND STRESS PHYSIOLOGY OF PIGFISH, Orthopristis chrysoptera ................................ ......... 105 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 105 Meth ods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 106 Small Scale Stocking Density Experiment ................................ ...................... 106 Large Scale Stocking Density Experiment ................................ ...................... 108 Water Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 110 Statistics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 111 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 111 Small Scale Stocking Density ................................ ................................ ......... 111 Large Scale Stocking Density ................................ ................................ ......... 112 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 113 7 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 123 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 127 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 134

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Percentage of larval pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides observed to have inflated swim bladders and percentage that exhibited notochord flexion from 12 21 DPH. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 26 3 1 Percentage of larval pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera observed to have inflated swim bladders and percentage that exhibited notochord flexion from 8 20 DPH. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 39 4 1 Mean (SD) pre injection oocyte diameter, post injection oocyte diameter, stripped egg volume, and change in mean vitellogenic oocyte diameter .............................. 69 4 2 Mean ( SD) number of total, floating, and sinking eggs released per spawn and total, floating, and sinking eggs spawned per gram body weight (BW) for Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments with pinfish. ................................ ........... 70 4 3 Mean (SD) egg diameter, oil diameter, oil diameter : egg diameter ratio, and percentage of eggs with a single oil globule for floating and sinking pinfish eggs collected from Ovaprim a nd HCG dose experiments. ............................. 71 5 1 Mean (SD) pre injection oocyte diameter, post injection oocyte diameter, stripped egg volume, and change in mean vitellogenic oocyte diameter h Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments.. ............................ 100 5 2 Mean (SD) number of total, floating, and sinking eggs released per spawn and total, floating, and sinking eggs spawned per gram body weight (BW) f or Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments with pigfish. ................................ ......... 101 5 3 Mean (SD) egg diameter, oil diameter, oil diameter : egg diameter ratio, and percentage of eggs with a single oil globule for floati ng and sinking pigfish eggs collected from Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments. ........................... 102 6 1 Mean (SD) plasma osmolality, chloride, cortisol, and glucose from the pigfish large scale stocking densit y experiment. ................................ ............... 118 6 2 Mean (SD) standard length, total length, weight, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio from the pigfish small scale stocking density experiment. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 118 6 3 Mean coefficients of variation (SD) for standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish from the small scale and large scale stocking density experiments. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 119

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8 6 4 Mean (SD) standard length, total length, weight, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio from the pigfish large scale stocking density experiment. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 1 19

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure p age 2 1 Larval development of Lagodon rhomboides ................................ .................... 26 2 2 Percent larval survival of pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides over 33 days post hatch following induced voli tional spawning using Ovaprim. ............................ 27 2 3 Mean (SD) larval growth of pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides over 63 days post hatch (DPH) following induced volitio nal spawni ng of broodfish using Ovaprim. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 28 2 4 Feeding regime administered over 63 days post hatch (DPH) to pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides larvae produced by using Ovaprim injection to induc e volitional spawning in broodfish. ................................ ............................. 29 3 1 Larval development of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera ................................ .... 39 3 2 Percent larval surviv al of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 25 DPH following volitional spawning. ................................ ................................ .............. 40 3 3 Mean (SD) larval growth of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 30 DPH following volitional spawn ing. ................................ ................................ .............. 41 3 4 Larval feeding regime used for pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 30 DPH following volitional spawning. ................................ ................................ ............. 42 4 1 Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pinfish eggs from the Ovaprim dose evaluation.. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 72 4 2 Mean 0 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length, oil diameter, and 3 DPH notochord length measured in millimeters (mm) on the primary y axis. Mean 0 DPH yolk volume measure in mm 3 on the secondary y axis. All morphometric data was collected from pinfish larvae produced duri n g the Ovaprim dose e valuation ................................ ................................ ............... 73 4 3 Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pinfish egg s from the HCG dose e valuation. ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 74 4 4 Mean 3 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length for pinfish larvae produced during the HCG dose evaluation ................................ ................................ ....... 75 5 1 Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pigfish eggs from the Ovaprim dose evaluation. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 103

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10 5 2 Mean 0 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length, oil diameter, and 3 DPH notochord length measured in millimeters (mm) on the primary y axis. Mean 0 DPH yolk volume measure in mm 3 on the secondary y axis. All morphometric data was collected from pigfish larvae produced during the Ovaprim dose e valuation ................................ ................................ ............... 104 6 1 Mean standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish over the 65 day small scale stoc king density e xperiment ................................ .......................... 120 6 2 Mean survival through 65 days for pigfish from the small scale stoc king density experiment ................................ ................................ .......................... 121 6 3 Mean survival through 50 days for pigfish f rom the large scale stock ing density experiment ................................ ................................ .......................... 121 6 4 Mean standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish over the 50 day large scale stoc king density experi ment ................................ .......................... 122

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EVALUATION OF CULTURE METHODS FOR TWO MAR INE BAITFISH SPECIES, PINFISH, L agodon rhomboides AND PIGFISH, O rthopristis chrysoptera By Matthew A. DiMaggio August 2012 Chair: Cortney L. Ohs Cochair: B. Denise Petty Major: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Aquaculture of marine baitfish species has t he potential to provide retailers and anglers with a consistent supply of live bait and strengthen domestic aquaculture production through diversification. The pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides and pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera are two popular marine baitfi sh species that have been identified as strong candidates for commercial production, yet there is paucity of information regarding their culture methods. Thus, the objectives of this study were to elucidate appropriate captive spawning, larval rearing, and grow out methods. Captive pinfish were induced to spawn with a single injection of a salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue with a dopamine antagonist (Ovaprim). Successful culture of pinfish larvae revealed first feeding to occur at 3 days post hatch (DPH) and established a successful larval feeding regime using rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis and Artemia Larvae were observed to have completed swim bladder inflat ion by 19 DPH, with 100% of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by the same date. L arval survival ranged from 10% to 117% through 33 DPH. Results from Ovaprim and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) dose evaluation experiments showed low dose

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12 Ovaprim (0.25, 0.50 mL/kg) and 4000 IU/kg HCG to be the most advantageous for successful spawni ng induction of pinfish. A fecundity of 1,147,149 eggs/female (2,959 eggs/g body weight) was calculated from 58 volitional spawning events in captive pigfish. Larval survival ranged from 6.5 100.0% through 25 days post hatch (DPH). Larvae were observed to initiate swim bladder infla tion by 9 DPH, with 100% of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by 19 DPH. This study represents the first report of repeated captive volitional spawning of pigfish with successful protracted larval rearing. Spawning assessmen ts with pigfish indicated superior performance and increased egg and larval quality with the 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim dose. Spawning reliability was questionable with all HCG doses investigated. Findings from pigfish stocking density experiments revealed simila r trends in growth and survival for tested densities. Specific growth rate estimates ranged from 2.02 0.31 4.38 0.59% for both experiments. Densities up to 0.5 fish/L (4.70 kg/m 3 ) appear conducive to captive culture although higher densities should b e investigated to possibly reduce intraspecific aggression.

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13 CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION Marine baitfish aquaculture holds great potential for growth and diversification of the United States aquaculture industry. Today almost all marine baitfish sold in stores are wild caught. Availability of desired species and size classes is inconsistent due to seasonal migratory patterns and natural environmental fluctuations. The inherent limitatio ns of this capture fishery will allow prospective bait producers to s upplement seasonal and geographic shortfalls in natural productivity with a sustainably cultured product. Baitfish marketing and distribution has historically occurred on the local level. Farmers producing this new crop would be able to take advantage of w ell established distribution networks already in place in much of the coastal US. As rapid globalization has resulted in the loss or transfer of many jobs overseas, development of m arine baitfish aquaculture will offer employment opportunities for local pr oducers and help to strengthen the domestic aquaculture industry through the culture of species uninfluenced by foreign imports. Species selection is a critical decision fundamental to the commercial success of aquaculture ventures. Economic value, dema nd consistency, and ease of culture are three considerations of paramount importance when evaluating candidate aquaculture species. The pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides and pigfish, Orthopristi s chrysoptera are two popular marine baitfish commonly used by rec reational anglers in the southeastern US. Identified by Oesterling et al. (2004) as species with high potential for commercialization, technical culture aspects were recognized as areas of needed research. Investigations into Florida baitfish markets by Ad ams et al. (1998) substantiated both species as economically valuable with wholesale prices ranging

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14 from $7 to $61 per kg ($0.08 to $0.66 per fish) for pinfish and $8 to $42 per kg ($0.10 to $0.50 per fish) for pigfish. Recorded ranges for retail prices w ere $16 to $116 per kg ($0.17 to $1.25 per fish) for pinfish and $27 to $104 per kg ($0.33 to $1.25 per fish) for pigfish. Results from a recent survey of the Florida baitfish markets by DiMaggio et al. (2012) show an increase in wholesale value with price s ranging from $19 to $140 per kg ($0.20 to $1.50 per fish) for pinfish and $17 to $42 per kg ($0.20 to $0.50 per fish) for pigfish, with retail prices usually double that of wholesale. Prices such as these make baitfish an appealing alternative to the man y food fish species currently cultured. Additionally, both pinfish and pigfish move offshore to spawn from winter through early spring and these seasonal migrations result in supply shortages. Producers able to supplement bait retailers during seasonal sho rtages would undoubtedly be able to command a premium price for their product. Furthermore, availability of desired size classes is often unreliable due to factors such as poor recruitment and adverse environmental conditions. Shortfalls in wild size class es which could be supplemented with a cultured product would offer an additional opportunity to increase profit potential. Captive spawning and larval rearing are two significant bottlenecks in the culture of marine fishes. Evaluation of broodstock handli ng techniques, spawning procedures, and egg collection and incubation methods are o f vital importance to successful captive propagation. Moreover, determination of appropriate prey size, species, feeding density, and weaning periods are essential elements in development of an effective feeding regime. Larval culture of marine fishes is often laborious and efforts to raise new species pose unique challenges. Pinfish and pigfish are two species which have rarely been reported to volitionally spawn in captivit y. Previous experiments by Cardeilhac,

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15 (1976) and Schimmel (1977) have induced ovulation in pinfish with administration of exogenous hormones, but eggs had to be manually stripped and fertilized and attempts at raising hatched larvae were brief and largely unsuccessful. A single report by Hildebrand and Cable (1930) indicated captu red gravid female pigfish release d eggs soon after capture but efforts at subsequent spawning and larval culture were ineffective. This lack of information regarding effective and detailed culture methods for both pinfish and pigfish warrants further investigation. Established protocols defining spawning and larval rearing techniques will be of great value to potential producers seeking to culture these two new aquaculture species. Additionally projected growth and survival rates will help growers to carefully plan production cycles and calculate quantities of needed broodstock. Exogenous hormone preparations are commonly used to induce final oocyte maturation, ovulation, and sperm iation in cultured fishes (Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). Dose optimization studies are not common in the scientific literature and furthermore, extrapolation of efficacio us dosages may not be prudent because hormone sensitivity may be species specific and depe ndent upon a myriad of environmental factors. Additionally, evaluation of various hormone types and doses are necessary to establish effective spawning protocols, resulting in high quality eggs and larvae while minimizing the investment of time and money. Currently, no publications exist which document the dose efficacy of Ovaprim, a salmonid gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue (sGnRHa) and dopamine antagonist (domperidone), or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), on spawning induction in pigfish or pin fish. As very little is known regarding environmental manip ulation of gametogenesis in either of these baitfish species and

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16 vitellogenesis readily progresses in captivity, investigations into induced spaw ning procedures are justified. Characterization of e ffective hormone doses will help to define empirically based spawning protocols that may then be transferred to the industry. Generated data will facilitate commercial production and will have direct applicability to many other species of marine baitfish w hose spawning protocols have yet to be defined. Stocking density is an important consideration in the intensive commercial production of fishes. Decreased growth and survival may result from overcrowding of the culture environment while under stocking may lead to inefficient use of resources. Both scenarios have the potential to deleteriously affect the profitability of an aquaculture facility. Previous research by Ohs et al. (2010) has evaluated stocking densities conducive to pinfish culture. However, to date no studies have assessed the effect of stocking density on growth, survival, and physiological stress indicators in pigfish. Research into pigfish stocking densities will help to define culture conditions yielding high growth rates and efficient feed conversion ratios. Investigations into associated stress physiology will attempt to corroborate observed trends in morphometric data. Results will allow producers to make info rmed decisions about the effects of stocking density on production cycles. Pinfi sh and pigfish are two strong candidates for marine baitfish aquaculture. They are economically valuable, have established demand, and possess many attributes that make them attractive for commercial production. Results from these studies will provide crit ical information vital to the commercialization of these species and add to the paucity of data regarding their culture methods.

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17 CHAPTER 2 INDUCED VOLITIONAL S PAWNING AND LARVAL R EARING OF PINFISH L agodon rhomboides Introduction Currently, almost all ma rine baitfish sold to anglers are wild caught and marketed through a well developed network of retailers. Availability of most species is seasonal yet demand exists year round in most coastal states. Aquacultured marine baitfish could provide anglers with a consistent supply of sought after species in desired size classes, regardless of season, while potentially alleviating collection pressure on wild stocks and providing growers with an alternative, environmentally sustainable crop. In 2004, interest in marine baitfish aquaculture prompted Oesterling et al. (2004) to identify nine baitfish with potential for culture in the southeastern United States. The p infish, Lagodon rhomboides ranked third among species identified as having potential for aquaculture commercialization. In a survey of the live bait market in Florida, Adams et al. (1998) found that wholesale prices for live pinfish (~11 g) were $ 7 to $61 per kg ($0. 08 to $0.66 per fish), with retail prices ranging from $ 16 to $1 1 6 per kg ($ 0 17 to $1. 25 per fish). Pinfish are found at a wide range of salinities and temperatures, and can tolerate low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. Such tolerance provides great flexibility in how these fish can be cultured and distributed. Additionally, low salinity culture of this species would allow production to occur at inland sites, greatly increasing the available area that farmers could utilize to culture this new crop (Ohs et al. 2010 ). Currently, only two publications (Cardeilhac 1976; Schimmel 1977) have examine d the efficacy of hormone induced spawning in th e pinfish; these studies used human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) pituitary lu te i nizing hormone (PLH) and an estradiol benzoate/testosterone propionate/progesterone mixture. Additionally, both

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18 investigations strip spawned males and females in an attempt to artificially fertilize mature eggs and attempts to culture the larvae were unsuccessful with limited data collected. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Ovaprim (Western Ch emical, Inc., Ferndale, Washington, USA), which consists of a salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue (sGnRHa, D Arg 6 Pro 9 dopamine antagonist (Domperidone, 10 mg/mL) on inducing oocyte maturation and volitional spawning of pin fish. Larval growth and feeding regimes were also investigated to elucidate critical g aps in the culture knowledge of this species. This preliminary study is the first published report of induced volitional spawning of pinfish with protracted larval rearin g. Methods Pinfish Broodstock Acquisition A total of 100 pinfish broodstock were collected in January 2009 by commercial fisherme n (J & J Bait LLC Indialantic, Florida ) from the Indian River Lagoon near Sebastian, Florida, USA and were temporarily quaran tined in a 2,536 L tank with flow through seawater. Fish were assessed for external pa rasites and treated with a 250 mg/L formalin bath (Paracide F, Argent Chemical Laboratories, Redmond, Washington, USA). Formalin baths lasted one hour and were conducted on alternate days for a total of five treatments. Following the fifth bath, a subsample of pinfish was reassessed to ensure treatment efficacy and confirm the health status of fish to be used in subsequent experimentation at the University of Florida India n River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce, Florida Forty eight broodstock were evenly distributed among four 1 600 L circular tanks within one recirculating system inside a greenhouse. This system was equipped with a

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19 1 600 L sump, bead filter, protein skimmer, two ultraviolet sterilizers and a 1 1/2 hp centrifugal pump. Each 1 600 L tank was equipped with one 208 L egg collector. Each egg collector w as externally located from the tank and engineered to collect both floating and sinking e ggs within a 500 m mesh enclosure. Brood systems wer e maintained with natural seawater from the Atlantic Ocean at a salinity of 35 g/L with an ambient temperature (22 29C) and photoperiod (12L:12D). Fish were fed to satiation twice daily with a diet co nsisting of squid, ( Loligo opalescens ), krill (Euphausiidae) and a 2.0 mm slow sinking pellet (Zeigler Bros. Inc., Gardners, PA, USA 50% protein, 15% fat, 2% fiber, 12% moisture, 8% ash). Each tank was aerated with a submerged airstone to ensure adequate DO concentrations. Induced Spawning On March 10, 2009, broodstock tanks were drained to sample the fish for gamete development. Males were distinguished from females by the presence of flowing mi lt upon palpation of the coelom anterior to the urogenital o pening. Ovarian maturity of female broodstock was assessed by intraovarian biopsy. A T eflon catheter tube (0.97 mm inside diameter, 1.27 mm outside diameter) was inserted into the urogenital opening of anaesthetized females ( tricaine methanesulfonate [ MS 2 22 ] at 100 mg/L ) and the sample was removed by oral suction. Each sample was viewed under a compound microscope outfitted with an optical micrometer to determine oocyte maturation stage. A total of 10 fish ( five males and five females) that exhibited fina l gamete matur ation, flowing sperm or oocytes larger than 0.5 mm (Cardeilhac 1976), were administered an intracoelomic injection of Ovaprim at dosage of 0.25 mL/kg and 0.50 mL/kg for males and females, respectively. Male pin fish ranged in weight from 77. 7

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20 290.0 g with a mean of 216.5 84.5 g and ranged in total length (TL) from 19.5 23.0 cm with a mean of 21.1 1.4 cm. Female pin fish ranged in weight from 94.3 240.0 g with a mean of 196.4 58.1 g and ranged in TL from 20.5 21.5 cm with a mean o f 21.1 0.4 cm. All injected pi nfish were returned to one 1 600 L broodstock tank at a sex ratio of 1:1 and monitored every 12 hours over the next 48 hours for spawning activity or the presence of eggs. Egg Incubation After spawning, three 2 mL samples of floating eggs were taken from the egg collector and quantified under a dissecting microscope to determine the number of eggs/mL. All remaining eggs, both floating and sinking, were removed from the egg collector and placed in a 2 L graduated cylinder and allowed to separate. Floating and sinking eggs were subsequently poured into separate 25 mL graduated cylinders to volumetrically determine the total egg production and fertilization rate. Fertilized eggs were those that floated ; all sinking eggs were cons idered to be nonviable. Egg diameter was obtained by photographing a sample (n = 20) of floating eggs under a dissecting microscope and digitally measuring the photographs using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software (Systat Software Inc., Point Richmond, CA, USA). On the day of spawning, fertilized eggs were stocked at a density of 54.5 eggs/L into a static 350 L conical bottom larval rearing tank filled with seawater from the broodstock system. Moderate aeration was provided with a submerged airstone placed in the ce nter of the tank bottom. The rearing tank also contained a side drain that allowed for skimming of the water surface when necessary.

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21 Larval R earing At 1 day post hatch (DPH) t he rearing tank was inoculated with a predetermined volume of Tahitian strain I sochrysis galbana (T ISO) Algae concentrations were maintained at 26 34 cm S ecchi depth until 28 DPH. Larvae were fed S strain rotifers Brachionus plicatilis (~150m length) maintained in cultures at a salinity of 25 g/L Rotifer cultures were fed live T ISO supplemented with the addition of C ulture S elco (INVE Aquaculture Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) twice daily to improve production and rotifer quality. Prior to larval feeding, r otifers (5 25 million) were e nriched with Ori Green (Skretting Cana da Inc., Bayside, New Brunswick, Canada) in 10 L buckets for 3 hours at 27 were subsequently rinsed and held in clean 25 g/L salinity water and the temperature was abruptly reduc ed to 15C. Rotifers were then transferred to a refr igerator (5 10C) for storage. From 1 21 DPH, e nriched rotifers were fed to pinfish larvae at a density of 5 15 rotifers /m L within 24 hours of cold storage. R otifer densities were monitored daily an d replenished accordingly to maintain concentrations at 15 rotifers /m L from 5 21 DPH Decapsulated nauplii of brine shrimp, Artemia spp., were introduced to the larval rearing tank beginning at 13 DPH and brine shrimp densities of up to 1.3 Artemia / mL w ere maintained until 38 DPH All larvae were completely weaned onto a microbound mi croparticulate diet (250 450 m, 46.1% crude protein, 37.4% crude lipid, 5.6% ash, and 10.9% nitrogen free extract [Kovalenko et al., 2002] ) by 38 DPH A s fish size increa sed a Finfish Starter #1 crumble (Zeigler Bros. Inc., Gardners, PA, USA 50 55 % protein, 15% fat, 2% fiber, 12% m oisture, 8% a sh ) was gradually introduced Throughout the larval rearing process culture water was exchanged with new seawater daily, progressi vely increasing from 10% of the total tank volume at 3 DPH to

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22 100% at 14 DPH. At 29 DPH, the seawater in the system was diverted into a recirculating system with the same specifications as that used for broodfish. A surface skimmer was used to reduce any o rganic buildup at the surface that could impede swim bladder inflation of the developing larvae. Constant a eration was provided to ensure adequate DO concentrations. Water quality p ar a meters including DO, temperature, salinity, pH, total ammonia ni trogen (TAN) nitrite and nitrate were measured once daily. Just as in the broodstock systems, the larval tank was mainta ined at ambient temperature (22 29C) and photoperiod (13L:11D) throughout the larval rearing process. A mean of 9 2 larvae were r emoved from the tank for photographing and subsequent measurements on 17 of the first 21 DPH. Pinfish larvae were removed and immediately euthanized by an overdose of MS 222 and were photographed under a stereo dissecting microscope. Images were analyzed f or the presence of inflated swim bladders and the initiation of flexion. Notochord length was measured using S igma Scan Pro 5.0 software Notochord length was defined as a straight line measurement from the anterior most point of the head to the posterior t ip of the not o chord for pre flexion larvae or to the posterior edge of the hypurals for flexion larvae. Four additional TL measurements were taken on 35, 42, 56, and 63 DPH. Pinfish larvae (n = 20) were removed from the larval rearing tank and hand measure d to the nearest mm. Overall survival was periodically evaluated by volumetric sampling methods. Eight samples were taken from the larval rearing tank with the highest and lowest values being discarded before a mean survival was calculated from the remaini ng six values. As the pinfish developed sample volumes increased, ranging from 150 3 000 mL. Larvae

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23 began to actively avoid sampling containers and schooled in large aggregations, decreasing the homogeneity of survival samples and thus accuracy. As such survival values are best estimates and are not exact Results Volitional spawning of pinfish occurred approximately 36 48 hours after injection with a total of 12, 825 eggs (570 29 eggs/mL) released during that period. A fertilization rate of 97.8% w as recorded based on the volume of floating eggs Assuming an equal contribution from all females, the fecundity of each female was estimated at 2,565 eggs (13.1 eggs/g). Fertilized eggs had a mean diameter of 0.99 0.04 mm (Figure 2 1) Survival ranged f rom 10 117% through 33 DPH, with 10% survival recorded at 33 DPH (Figure 2 2). Growth rates over the 63 day trial are illustrated in Figure 2 3 and wer e best described by the second order polynomial equation y = 0.0073x2 + 0.0083x + 2.8204 Analysis of l arval photographs revealed the initiation of swim bladder inflation at 13 DPH culminating with 100% of the population exhibiting completely inflated swim bladders by 19 DPH (Table 2 1). Additionally, pre flexion larvae began to exhibit notochord flexion at 1 6 DPH (42.9%), with 100% of larvae exhibiting characteristics of notochord flexion by 19 DPH (Table 2 1). The larval feeding regime used during the trial is illustrated in Figure 2 4. All water quality parameters measured through the course of the trial were within acceptable limits. Mean parameter values were: salinity, 37.7 2.2 g/L; temperature, 25.1 1.8C; DO, 5.6 0.9 mg/L; pH, 7.8 0.3; TAN, 0.9 1.1 mg/L; nitrite, 0.5 0.4 mg/L, and nitrate, 24.1 17.7 mg/L.

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24 Discus sion This trial represent s the first report of induced volitional spawning of pinfish held in captivit y. Additionally, to the author s knowledge no other publications have successfully examined such a protracted larval rearing period. While previous studies have investigated the us e of HCG and PLH (Cardeilhac 1976; Schimmel 1977), in the spawning of pinfish, GnRH analogues such as Ovaprim, have become the preferred choice for use with other species as they act earlier in the hypothalamic pituitary gonad al axis (Mylonas and Zohar 2001). This trial clearly showed Ovaprim to be an effective choice for induc tion of pinfish spawning as it neither required a resolving dose n or impose d any addition al handling stress on the broodfish The high fertilization rate (97.8%) wa s encouraging but requires further replicated experiments to substantiate the data. The reported fecundity of 2,565 eggs/female is below the range of fecundities (7,700 90,000 eggs/female) reported by Caldwell ( 1957 ) and Hansen (1970) for pinfish This lower fecundity may be explained by an unequal contribution among females thus diluting the individual fecundity calculations. Another, explanation may be that pinfish ovarian development is multiple batch group synchronous or asynchronous, and the calculated fecundity nutritional deficiencies in the diet fed to captive broodfish, possibly led to atresia and reabsorption of the oocytes, although no significant atresia was noted in ovarian biopsies. Further experiments with individual spawning pairs will help to elucidate and clarify the fecundity data and substantiate ovarian development and spawning modalities. Flexion data from this trial corroborate the data of Zieske (1989), who reported the initiation of flexion at a length of 5.0 mm in pinfish Additionally, the time periods of critical developmental milestones (swim bladder inflation, flexion) as well as a

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25 preliminary larval feeding regime presented in this study will help in the design of future larval rearing tr ials.

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26 Table 2 1 .Percentage of larval pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides observed to have inflated swim bladders and percentage that exhibited no tochord flexion from 12 21 days post hatch Days p ost h atch % Inflated s wim b ladder % Flexion 12 0.0 0.0 13 71.4 0.0 15 61.5 0.0 16 76.9 42.9 17 73.3 66.7 18 91.6 69.2 19 100.0 100.0 21 100.0 100.0 Figure 2 1. Larval development of Lagodon rhomboides Scale bars in all pictures represent 1 mm. (A) L .rhomboides eggs prior t o hatch (B) Day one post hatch larvae (C) Day 13 post hatch larvae with swim bladder clearly inflated (D) Day 17 post hatch flexion larvae.

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27 Figure 2 2. Percent larval survival of pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides over 33 days post hatch following induced volitional spawning using Ovaprim. Survival was determined from volumetric samples and consequently as larvae avoided sampling containers, survival estimates decreased in accuracy.

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28 Figure 2 3. Mean (SD ) larval growth of pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides over 63 days post hatch (DPH) following induced volitional spawning of broodfish using Ovaprim. Notochord length was defined as a straight line measurement from the anterior most point of the head to the pos terior tip of the not o chord for pre flexion larvae or to the posterior edge of the hypurals for flexion larvae. Four additional TL measurements were taken to the nearest mm on 35, 42, 56, and 63 DPH.

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29 Figure 2 4. Feeding regime administered over 63 days post hatch to pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides larvae produced by using Ovaprim injection to induce volitional spawning in broodfish ( Artemia = brine shrimp; rotifers = Brachionus plicatilis ; micro diets = microbound microparticulat e diet and a finfish starter #1 crumble).

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30 CHAPTER 3 CAPTIVE VOLITIONAL S PAWNING AND LARVAL R EARING OF PIGFISH, O rthopristis chrysoptera Introduction As increased foreign imports threaten the profitability of the United States aquaculture industry, novel species and new markets must be pursued to ensure its longevity. Marine baitfish species have received increasing attention over the last decade as this sector represents an untapped market for domestic aquaculture expansion. In 2004, interest in marine b aitfish culture prompted Oesterling et al. (2004) to identify nine baitfish species with potential for culture in the southeastern United States. The pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera was ranked number four on this list with technical unknowns serving as the major barrier to commercialization. The pigfish is a member of the grunt family ( Haemulidae ), with a wide distribution from Massachusetts south through the Gulf of Mexico. It is a staple bait species among the sport and commercial fishing industries u sed to target a wide variety of both inshore and offshore game fish species within the state of Florida and the southeastern United States. In a survey of the live bait market in Florida, Adams et al. (1998) found that wholesale prices for live pigfish (~1 2g) ranged up to US $42 per kg ($0.50 per fish) with retail prices up to $104 per kg ($1.25 per fish). Additionally, pigfish are robust and tolerant of low salinity and frequent handling, making this species ideal for culture, distribution, and marketing by the numerous bait wholesalers and retailers within the region. Presently, there are no publications which examine captive spawning and larval culture in this species. Experiments which demonstrate culture feasibility and elucidate critical information req uisite for captive propagation are greatly needed. Thus, the

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31 purpose of this trial was to evaluate the captive spawning potential of pigfish and establish a preliminary larval rearing protocol. Methods Pigfish Broodstock Acquisition and Acclimation A tota l of 75 pigfish broodstock were collected in February 2009 by commercial fishermen from the Indian River Lagoon near Fort Pierce, Florida, USA and were temporarily quarantined in a 2,536 L tank with flow through seawater. Fish were assessed for external pa rasites and treated with 250 mg/L formalin baths (Parasite S Western Chemical Inc. Ferndale, Washington USA). Formalin baths lasted one hour and were conducted on alternate days for a total of five treatments. Following the fifth b ath, a subsample of pi nfish was reassessed to ensure treatment efficacy and confirm the health status of fish to be used in subsequent experimentation at the University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce, Florida Broodstock were evenl y distributed among three 1 600 L circular tanks within one recirculating system inside a greenhouse. This system was equipped with a 1 600 L sump, beadfilter, protein skimmer, two ultraviolet sterilizers, supplemental aeration, and a 1 1/2 hp centrifugal pump. The b rood system w as maintained with natural seawater from the Atlantic Ocean at a salinity of 35 g/L with an ambient temperature and photoperiod until the 2010 spawning season. In January of 2010 six fish (3 male : 3 female) were transferred into a single 2 200 L recirculating system housed within an insulated 650 m 2 hatchery facility. As there is no gross sexual dimorphism i n pigfish, males were differentiated from females by the presence of flowing mi l t upon palpation of the coelom anterior to the urogenital opening. Intraovarian biopsies were conducted to confirm reproductively viable females were selected for the subsequent investigations.

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32 This single tank system was comprised of a trickle filter, UV sterilizer, supplemental aeration, bag filter, external egg collector, and conical tank lid with artificial lighting to manipulate photoperiod. Egg collectors were 200 L in volume and engineered to collect both floating and sinking eggs within a 500 m mesh enclosure. The six brood pigfish were mainta ined in this system under ambient temperature, 35 g/L salinity, and a 12L:12D photoperiod until the 2011 spawning season. Spawning and Egg Incubation Beginning in October 201 0 brood pigfish were fed a diet consisting of squid, Loligo opalescens krill, E uphausia superba and a 2.0 mm slow sinking pellet (Zeigler, 50% protein, 15% fat, 2% fiber, 12% moisture, 8% ash) to satiation twice daily. Male pigfish ranged in weight from 301 467 g with a mean (SD) of 384 117 g and ranged in total length (TL) fro m 28.1 30.7 cm with a mean of 29.4 1.8 cm. Female pigfish ranged in weight from 366 420 g with a mean of 388 29 g and ranged in TL from 28.8 30.6 cm with a mean of 29.6 0.9 cm. As the spawning season approached, broodfish were monitored closely for signs of spawning behavior and the egg collector was examined daily for the presence of spawned eggs. Volitional spawning began on January 1, 2011 and terminated on April 8, 2011. Ten days after the initial spawn, one of the three male pigfish was obs erved to have died from idiopathic causes and was not replaced. On March 26, 2011, a spawn of 18 mL of floating eggs in the early neurula stage was collected. Using a dissecting microscope, four egg samples of 250 L each were enumerated and fertilization rate was quantified from a subsample of 100 floating eggs. Egg and oil globule diameter was obtained by photographing a sample (n = 100) of floating eggs under a dissecting microscope and digitally measuring the photographs using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software (Systat Software Inc., Point Richmond, CA, USA).

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33 Hatching percentage was determined by stocking 50 fertilized eggs in each of three replicated 1 L containers outfitted with 55 m screen bottoms. Hatching containers were then floated within a 325 L water b ath at 21.0 C to ensure equivalent water quality and temperature among replicates. Following 24 h ours in the water bath, hatching containers were removed and the number of hatched larvae was quantitated. On the day of spawning, 16 mL of fertilized eggs wer e stocked at a density of 536.9 eggs/L into a static 47.5 L conical bottom tank filled with seawater at 21.6 C. Moderate aeration was provided with a submerged airstone placed in the center of the tank bottom. Hatched larvae were removed from the tank afte r 24 h ours and stocked in a 170 L conical bottom larval rearing tank located in the IRREC greenhouse facility at ambient photoperiod (12L:12D) and temperature ( 23.4 28.2 C). Day 0 post hatch larvae were stocked at a density of 112.5 larvae/L. Larval R ear ing The larval rearing tank was kept static with no water flow until 3 days post hatch (DPH), after which water flow rates were increased to 3 tank volumes ( 510 L) in a 24 h our period from 3 24 DPH. Water was allowed to leave the culture tank through a 2 50 m mesh standpipe located in the center of the tank and collect in a 1600 L sump. Culture water was then passed through a bead filter, UV sterilizer, protein skimmer, and finally through a 55 m mesh filter before returning to the tank. A surface skimme r was ibited swim bladder inflation by the larvae and gentle aeration was provided to ensure adequate dissolved oxygen concentrations. At 25 DPH half of the remaining larval popul ation was moved to an identical 170 L tank within the same recirculating system, yielding a new density of 3.6 fish/L per tank. Water flow rates were again increased to

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34 12 tank volumes (20 40 L) in a 24 h our period from 25 30 DPH and the 55 m mesh filter was removed. Beginning at first feeding (2 DPH) and through 27 DPH, the culture tank was inoculated with a predetermined volume of Tahitian strain Isochrysis galbana (T ISO) to maintain a mean algal cell density of 255,644 104,060 cells/mL. Algal densit ies were enumerated with a hemocytometer daily and the culture tank was supplemented with live T ISO to achieve desired concentrations. Larvae were fed S strain rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis, (~150 m length) cultured at a salinity of 25 g/L and fed live T ISO supplemented with the addition of Culture Selco (INVE Aquaculture Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) to improve production and rotifer quality. Prior to feeding to the larva e rotifers were enriched with Ori Green (Skretting Canada Inc., Bayside, New Brunswick, Canada) in 10 L buckets for 3 hours at 26 28C according to held in clean 25 g/L salinity water and the temperature was abruptly reduced to 15 C to slow th ansferred to a refrigerator (5 10C) for storage. From 2 9 DPH, only rotifers which passed through a 70 m mesh screen were enriched and fed to the larvae. Beginning at 10 DPH all rotifer size classe s were enriched and fed to the larvae. Enriched rotifers were fed t wice daily at a density of 2.5 7.5 rotifers/mL from 2 27 DPH and within 24 hours of cold storage. Rotifer densities were monitored daily and replenished accordingly to maintain desired concentrations. Nauplii of the calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus pelagicus were fed tw ice daily at a density of 0.02 2.24 nauplii/mL from 2 26 DPH. Copepod culture procedures adhere d to the methods previously described by Cassiano

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35 et al. ( 2011 ) Decapsulated brine shrimp, Artemia spp. nauplii were fed t wice daily at a density of 0.2 2.2 nauplii/mL from 17 30 DPH. A mean of 12 3 larvae were removed from the culture tank for photographing and subsequent measurements on 1 21, 24, 27, and 30 DPH. Pigfish larv ae were carefully removed and immediately euthanized by MS 222 overdose and subsequently photographed under a stereo dissectin g microscope. Pictures were analyzed for the presence of inflated swim bladders and the initiation of flexion. Notochord length wa s measured using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software. Notochord length was defined as a straight line measurement from the anterior most point of the head to the posterior tip of the not o chord for pre flexion larvae or to the posterior edge of the hypurals for flex ion larvae. Larval survival was evaluated at seven different time points by volumetric sampling methods. Five volumetric samples were taken from the larval rearing tank to calculate a mean survival. As the pigfish developed, sample volu mes increased, rangi ng from 100 250 mL. As morphological development progressed, larvae began to actively avoid sampling containers and schooled in large aggregations, increasing the variability in volumetric samples and compromising the accuracy of survival estimates. As s uch, the authors caution the readers that volumetric survival values are not precise and should be interpreted as such. A final survival evaluation was performed at 25 DPH and larval pigfish were hand counted to ensure accurate survival estimates. Water q uality parameters including dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, salinity, and pH were measure d daily using a YSI 556 meter (YSI Inc., Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA). Total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and nitrite were ev aluated daily using a Hach DR 40 00 spectrophot ometer (Hach Co., Loveland, Colorado, USA).

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36 Results A total of 58 distinct spawning events were recorded between January 1, 2011 and April 8, 2011. A total of 3,441,446 eggs were produced by the three female pigfish. Assuming an equal contribution from a ll fish, the fecundity of each female was determined to be 1,147,149 eggs (2,959 eggs/g body weight). With a calculated mean of 1,594 2 eggs/m L a total of 25,504 floating eggs were collected on March 26, 2011. A fertilization rate of 98% was recorded b ased on the subsample of floating eggs collected. An observed hatching percentage of 75% yielded 19,128 pigfish larvae for stocking. Fertilized eggs had a mean diameter of 0.86 0.02 mm and a mean oil globule diameter of 0.18 0.01 mm (Figure 3 1 A ). Surv ival ranged from 6.5 100.0% through 25 DPH, with 6.5% survival recorded on day 25 post hatch (Figure 3 2). Growth rates over the 30 d ay trial were exponential and wer e best described by the equation y = 2.4687e 0.0592x (Figure 3 3). Analysis of catalogued photographs revealed swim bladder inflation to commence at 9 DPH, with < 100% of the larval population never exhibiting i nflation (Table 3 1 Figure 3 1D ). Additionally, pre flexion larvae began to exhibit notochord flexion at 13 DPH ( 20 %), with 100% of la rvae exhibiting characteristics of notochord flexion by 19 DPH (Table 3 1). Initiation of larval metamorphosis was recorded at 30 DPH (Figure 3 1G). The larval feeding regime used during the trial is illustrated in Figure 3 4. All water quality parameters measured through the course of the trial were within acceptable limits. Mean parameter values were as follows : salinity, 35.7 1.1 g/L; temperature, 25.5 1.4C; DO, 4.77 0.42 mg/L; pH, 7.69 0.16; TAN, 0.09 0.07 mg/L; and nitrite, 0.0951 0.0307 m g/L.

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37 Discussion This trial represents the first detailed published report of volitional spawning of pig fish in a captive culture setting knowledge no other publica t ions have successfully documented such a protracted larval reari ng period and elucidated the asynchronous spawning modality and individual fecundity observed in this trial Studies examining hormone induced spawning of the Corocoro grunt, Orthopristis ruber report a significantly lower fecundity of 120,000 eggs/female (Mata et al. 2004). Initiation of flexion was observed at 13 DPH (Table 3 1) at a mean TL of 5.75 0.97 mm. This data closely corroborates the findings of Watson (1983) who reported initiation of flexion in wild pigfish to occur at a TL o f 4.8 5.5 mm. Sutter and McIlwain (1 987 ) report fertilized egg diameters ranging from 0.7 0.8 mm and a mean oil diameter of 0.16 mm. These values while marginally smaller than values reported in this manuscript, may be a more accurate depiction of morphological trait s associated with wild pigfish eggs. The larger egg and oil diameters observed in this trial may have be en due to superior nutrition provided to captive broodstock when juxtaposed with their wild counterparts. A high fertilization rate (98 %) and exponentia l larval growth through 30 DPH wer e promising results; however, further replicated experiments are required to corroborate this data. Conversely, poor swim bladd er inflation during this trial wa s concerning and may have be en indicative of engineering short falls in the larval culture tanks used. Biofilms which coalesce at the air water interface of culture tanks have been implicated in poor swim bladder inflation resulting in increased deformities and decreased survival and growth ( Woolley and Qin 2010 ) It is possible that the formation of an unnoticed biofilm at the air water interface of the larval pigfish tank may have reduced swim bladder inflation and impacted overall survival.

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38 Results from this trial have identified junctures critical to morphological development and larval survival ( i.e. swim bladder inflation and flexion) Future efforts at larval culture with this species should focus on optimization of environmental parameters at these crucial developmental milestones to increase larval survival and growth. Finally, the larval feeding regime presented in this manuscript will help to shape future larval n utrition experiments as well as commercial production protocols Just as in the Corocoro grunt (Mata et al. 2004) pigfish larvae begin to open their mouths at 2 DPH. Preliminary investigations sugge st adult rotifers may to be too large as a first feed and the use of co 70 m) may be beneficial to address observed gape limitation. Future experiments which optimize feeding protocols and decrease weaning periods should contribute to decreased food and labor costs and facilitate the commerc ial production of this new aquaculture species.

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39 Table 3 1. Percentage of larval pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera observed to have inflated swim bladders and percentage that exhibited notochord flexion from 8 2 0 days post hatch Days post hatch % Infl ated s wim bladder % Flexion 8 0 0 9 45 0 10 38 0 11 45 0 12 20 0 13 20 20 14 10 30 15 20 80 16 0 80 17 0 77 18 8 92 19 18 100 20 10 100 Figure 3 1. Larval development of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera One mil limeter Sedgewick Rafter grid in the background of A F for scale. (A) Pigfish eggs at the neurula stage, (B) Day 0 post hatch larva, (C) Day 2 post hatch larva at first feeding, (D) Day 11 post hatch larva with visibly inflated swim bladder, (E) Day 16 p ost hatch flexion larvae, (F) Day 24 post hatch larva, (G) Day 30 post hatch metamorphosed larva.

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40 Figure 3 2. Percent larval survival of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 25 days post hatch (DPH) following volitional spa wning. Survival was estimated from volumetric samples through 15 DPH and consequently as larvae avoided sampling containers, survival estimates decreased in accuracy. Larvae were hand counted for the 25 DPH survival determination.

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41 Figure 3 3. Mean (SD) larval growth of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 30 days post hatch ( DPH ) following volitional spawning. Notochord length was defined as a straight line measurement from the anterior most point of the head to the posteri or tip of the notochord for pre flexion larvae or to the posterior edge of the hypurals for flexion larvae.

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42 Figure 3 4. Larval feeding regime used for pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera over 30 days post hatch ( DPH ) following species Brachionus plicatilis refers to the same species which were size grad nauplii wer e from the calanoid copepod Pseudodiaptomus pelagicus and and Artemia refers to brine shrimp nauplii.

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43 CHAPTER 4 EVALUATION OF OVAPRI M AND HUMAN CHORIONI C GONADOTROPIN DOSES ON SPAWNING INDUCTIO N AND EGG AND LARVAL QUALI TY OF PINFISH, L agodon rhomboides Introduction Captive propagation of fishes is essential to meet the growing demands placed on finite fisheries resources. To this end, the aquaculture industry must find reliable and cost effective meth ods to spawn and culture species of interest. Captive spawning of broodstock is an integral component in the commercial production of finfish and significant investments are made in infrastructure to ensure crucial environmental cues can be properly replic ated and manipulated. Abiotic factors such as temperature, salinity, and photoperiod play critical roles in the gametogenic cycles of fishes and despite considerable efforts to provide environmental conditions conducive to spawning, many species still fai l to undergo final oocyte maturation (FOM) in captivity (Mylonas and Zohar, 2001). The use of exogenous hormones to induce FOM, ovulation, and spawning has become commonplace in the reproductive protocols for many species including salmonids (Donaldson e t al., 1981; Mylonas et al., 1992; Vikingstad et al., 2008), flounders (Harmin and Crim, 1992; Berlinsky et al., 1997), black sea bass, Centropristis striata, (Watanabe et al. 2003), European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, (Fornies et al., 2001), sea bre ams (Barbaro et al., 1997; Haddy and Pankhurst, 2000), and ornamental fishes (Hill et al. 2009). Crude pitu itary extracts used in the 1930 s have been replaced by synthetic gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) and purified gonadotropins (Zohar a nd Mylonas, 2001). Advances in induced spawning and its associated biochemistry have resulted in hormone preparations with increased

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44 bioactivity across multiple species, decreased risk of disease transmission, and increased options for hormone administrati on (Patino, 1997). The pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides is a member of the Sparidae or porgie family, and is distributed from Massachusetts south into the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan peninsula (Muncy, 1984). Characterized by Oesterling et al. (2004) as a m arine baitfish species with great potential for commercial development, it is arguably the most popular live bait among anglers in the southeastern United States. Research has shown pinfish to be tolerant of high stocking densities and low salinities with excellent survival in culture conditions (Ohs et al., 2010). Unlike mos t sparids, pinfish exhibit gono choristic development (Cody and Bortone, 1992). They readily undergo vitellogenesis in captivity however progression through FOM resulting in volitional spawning is unreliable. Pinfish FOM and ovulation has been successfully induced using human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), pituitary luteinizing hormone (PLH), and a steroid mixture consisting of estradiol benzoate, testosterone propionate, and progester one (Cardeilhac, 1976; Schimmel, 1977). Unfortunately, only a single HCG dose (1000 IU/kg) was investigated and all fish were manually stripped resulting in poor egg quality and larval survival in these studies. More recently, DiMaggio et al. (2010) achieved FOM and induced volitional spawning with pinfish using a single intramuscular injection of Ovaprim (Western Chemical Inc., (0.5 mL/kg). Results of these experiments illustrate the efficacy of stan dard induced spawning protocols in captive reproduction of pinfish. Ovaprim is a liquid peptide preparation of a s almon gonadotropin releasing hormone analog (sGnRHa, D Arg 6 Pro 9 Net

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45 (Domperidone, 10 mg/mL). It is delivered as either an intramuscular or intracoelomic injection and acts directly on the pituitary stimulating the release of gonadotropic hormones while concomitantly preventing dopamine rgic inhibition of gonadotropin secretions. Currently, it is legal for use in ornamental finfish broodstock and is indexed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) as a Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drug for Minor Species. Human c horionic gonadotropin is legally marketed under the name Chorulon (Intervet Inc., Summit, NJ, USA) and is currently the only USFDA approved spawning aid for use in finfish. Usually administered intramuscularly, it acts lower in the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis and resulting eggs and larvae may be inferior in quality when compared to spawns produced with GnRHa. Nonetheless, HCG has proven to be an effective choice for FOM and spawning induction in numerous species. Species specific dose determinatio n for spawning hormones is still relatively nebulous. General dosage recommendations may be either supplied by the manufacturer, as in the case of Ovaprim (0.5 mL/kg), or broad ranges may be extrapolated from the scientific literature, as in the case of H CG (100 4000 IU/kg) (Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). Dose efficacy can be highly variable among species and factors such as temperature and stress may further obfuscate the hormone s perceived efficacy. Insufficient dosing may prevent the progression of FOM an d ovulation whereas overdosing may lead to reduced egg and larval quality and potential death of brood fish in extreme cases. Mylonas and Zohar (2007) recognize that strong, rapid and unnatural stimulation provided by an excessive dose of a hormonal ther apy may result in decreased egg quality and viability and thus it is critical to establish appropriate

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46 hormone doses unique to the species of interest. Therefore, the objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the efficacy of various doses of Ovaprim and HCG on success of FOM, ovulation, and spawning in pinfish. Numerous qualitative and quantitative variables were analyzed for both eggs and larvae to elucidate the most advantageous dose for each hormone. Results from these experiments will help to inc rease production efficiency and spawning success in this new aquaculture species. Methods Broodsto ck Acquisition and C onditioning Pinfish broodstock were c ollected by commercial fishers from the Indian River Lagoon near Fort Pierce, Florida, USA and were t emporarily quarantined in a 2,536 L tank with flow through seawater. Health assessments were conducted and fish were treated for external parasites with 250 mg/L formalin baths (Parasite S, Western Chemical Inc., Ferndale, WA, USA) and administered a 10 da y course of oxytetracycline feed (Terramycin 200, 2.5 g/lb, Phibro Animal Health, Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA) to reduce the potential of bacterial infection following capture and handling stress. Formalin baths lasted one hour and were conducted on alternat e days for a total of five treatments. Following the fifth bath, a subsample of pinfish was reassessed to ensure treatment efficacy and confirm the health status of fish to be used in subsequent experimentation at the University of Florida Indian River Res earch and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce, Florida. Prior to experimentation, pinfish were held in eight 1 600 L circular tanks within two recirculating systems inside a greenhouse for a minimum of one year to allow for acclimation to culture cond itions. Each system was comprised of four 1 600 L culture tanks, a 1 600 L sump, bead filter, protein skimmer, two ultraviolet sterilizers,

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47 supplemental aeration, and a 1 1/2 hp centrifugal pump. Brood systems were maintained with sterilized natural seawat er from the Atlantic Ocean at a salinity of 35 g/L with an ambient temperature and photoperiod in an effort to closely replicate the behavior. Furthermore, this acclimation perio d allowed for uniform nutrition among brood fish, thereby removing the confounding effects of diet on reproductive performance. A maintenance diet which consisted of a 2.0 mm slow sinking pellet (Zeigler Bros. Inc., Gardners, PA, USA, 50% protein, 15% fat, 2% fiber, 12% moisture, and 8% ash) was fed to satiation once daily in the eight months preceding the spawning season. Four months prior to the initiation of spawning experiments the maintenance diet was supplemented with the addition of frozen squid, Lol igo opalescens and krill, Euphausia superba and fed twice daily to satiation. Ovaprim D ose E valuation The absence of sexual dimorphism in pinfish required confirmation of gender and reproductive competence via observation of gamete development. Male pi nfish selected for experimentation exhibited flowing milt upon gentle palpation of the coelom anterior to the urogenital opening. Fish which failed to express milt were anaesthetized in 125 250 mg/L Quinaldine Sulphate (Fishman Chemical LLC ., Fort Pierc e, FL, USA) and a T eflon catheter (0.97 mm inside diameter, 1.27 mm outside diameter) was inserted into the urogenital opening and suction was applied. Collected ovarian samples were placed on a Sedgewick Rafter counting cell to provide scale and photograp hed with a trinocular dissecting microscope outfitted with a digital camera. As pinfish employ an asynchronous spawning modality, the diameter of vitellogenic oocytes in all stages of development (n = 100) within a sample was determined using SigmaScan Pro 5.0

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48 software (Systat Software Inc., Point Richmond, CA, USA). Female pinfish with mean vitellogenic egg diameters >0.450 mm were selected for induced spawning trials. All pinfish were individually weighed and measured for total length (TL) and randomly as signed to one of four Ovaprim dosage treatment groups. Female pinfish treatment dosages inve stigated were 0.25 mL/kg (5 g s GnRHa + 2.5 mg d omperidone), 0.50 mL/kg (10 g s GnRHa + 5 mg d omperidone), 1.00 mL/kg (20 g s GnRHa + 10 mg dompe ridone), and 2.00 mL/kg (40 g s GnRHa + 20 mg domperidone) of Ovaprim injected into the dorsal musculature. Male pinfish received one half the dosage (0.125, 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 mL/kg) administered to corresponding females to ensure spermiation. Recirculating systems used in spawning trials were identical to the holding systems previously described except each 1600 L tank was outfitted with an external 200 L egg collector engineered to collect both floating and sinking eggs within a 500 m mesh enclosure. Anaesthetized fis h were allowed to recover after which one male and one female from the same treatment were stocked in a single 1 600 L tank within a recirculating system. Each treatment was replicated once within each of two independent recirculating systems per trial wit h three consecutive spawning trials conducted, yielding a total of six replicates per treatment. Feed was withheld following hormone injection to prevent fouling of egg collectors throughout the remainder of the experiment. Spawning experiments lasted a to tal of 72 hours after hormone injection and egg collectors were checked at 24, 48, and 72 hours for the presence of eggs. For each observed spawn from every replicate, both floating and sinking eggs were collected and transferred to a graduated cylinder wi th seawater for separation and volumetric

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49 enumeration. Two to four 0.5 mL subsamples of floating eggs were removed for quantification dependent upon total spawn volume. An additional subsample of 100 floating and 100 sinking eggs was removed and examined m icroscopically to determine fertilization percent, developmental stage, and photographed for subsequent morphometric analysis. Catalogued pictures of both floating and sinking eggs were analyzed using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software to determine egg diameter (n = 100), oil globule diameter (n = 100), and percentage of eggs observed to have a single oil droplet (%SO) (n = 100). An oil diameter : egg diameter (OD:ED) ratio was calculated by dividing the oil diameter by the overall egg diameter. Hatching percentage was determined by stocking 50 floating eggs from every spawn in an individual 1 L container (750 mL fluid volume) outfitted with a 55 m screen botto m. Hatching containers were floated in a 325 L water bath at 22C to ensure equivalent water quality and t emperature among replicates. Following 24 h in the water bath, hatching containers were removed and the number of hatched larvae, (0 days post hatch [DPH]), was recorded and photographed using the methods previously described. Survival to first feeding (3 DPH) was determined using the same methods employed for hatching percentage with larvae quantitated and photographed after 72 h. Photographs of hatched 0 DPH larvae (n = 10) were measured to determine notochord length, oil diameter, yolk length, and yolk h eight. Notochord length (NL) was defined a s a straight line measurement from the anterior most point on the head to the posterior tip of the notochord. Yolk volume (V y ) was calculated using the formula for a prolate sphere (Avila and Juario, 1987): V y 6 L y H y 2 where L y is yolk length and H y is yolk height. Live 3

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50 DPH larvae (n = 10) were measured only for NL. All measurements for 0 and 3 DPH larvae were carried out using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software. Seventy two hours after injection, female pinfish from all treatments and replicates were once again anaesthetized and gentle pressure was applied to the coelom to express any ovulated but unspawned eggs. Stripped eggs were collected and transferred to a graduated cylinder and the volume was recorded. Intraov arian biopsies were again collected and photographed as previously described and all vitellogenic oocytes were digitally measured to ascertain diameter. Changes in mean vitellogenic we re expressed as a percent of the mean pre OD Pr OD ) / Pr OD ] x 100, where P OD wa s post injection oocyte diameter and Pr OD wa s pre injection oocyte diameter. HCG Dose E valuation Methods for the HCG dose evaluation experiment ad here to the methods previously described for the Ovaprim dose evaluation experiment except as noted below. Female pinfish with mean vitellogenic egg diameters >0.450 mm were selected for induced spawning trials with HCG. All pinfish were individually weig hed and measured for total length (TL) and randomly assigned to one of four HCG dosage treatment groups. Female pinfish treatment dosages investigated were 500, 1 000, 2 000, and 4 000 IU/kg of HCG injected into the dorsal musculature. Male pinfish receive d one half the dosage (250, 500, 1 000, and 2 000 IU/kg) administered to corresponding females to ensure spermiation. Recirculating systems used in this experiment were identical to the systems used in the Ovaprim dosage experiment. Three trials were cond ucted resulting in six replicates per hormone dose.

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51 Water Quality Water quality parameters in both the experimental recirculating systems and the water bath were evaluated daily. Dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, temperature, and pH were determined using a YSI 556 multiparameter meter (YSI Inc., Yellow Springs, OH, USA) during both experiments. Total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and nitrite were measured using a Hach DR 4000 spectrophotometer (Hach Company, Loveland, CO, USA). Statistical A nalysis Statistical dif ferences among treatments for pinfish weight, TL, vitellogenic oocyte egg quantities per gram body weight were determined using the PROC GLM function of SAS version 9.3 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA) followed by means separation test. Data which had a non normal distribution was subjected to a Kruskal Wallis one way analysis of variance. Comparisons of pre injection and post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters within treatments were carried out u sing a two test. All percentage data was arcsine square root transformed prior to analysis. All numerical data are represented as the mean SD. A P value 0.05 was considered statistically significant for all analyses unless otherwise noted. Logistic regression was used to assess the effect of hormone dose on spawning frequency. One data set contained all monitored spawning frequency data; the presence of eggs at 48 and 72 hours post injection and after stripping were each coded as 1 and the lack of eggs at these monitored time periods was coded as 0. Four separate regression analyses were performed to assess hormone dose effects on the presence of eggs at 48 hours post injection, 72 hours post injection, presence of eggs

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52 at either 48 or 72 hours post injection, and presence of eggs after stripping. Hormone dose was the only analyzed predictor variable and was treated as a qualitative variable during all ana lyses. In the event all observed response values for a given dose at an examined time period were either all 0 or 1, an additional set of similar data points (all 0 or 1) for all doses were added for the regression analysis which assured at least one 0 or 1 response for that dose with all like response values in order to allow for estimation of odds ratio estimates (Frischknecht et al. 2011). Likelihood ratio P values for each analysis were used to determine if hormone dose had a significant effect on egg release and a P 0.10 was considered significant to protect against Type II error. Odds ratio estimates were calculated for each analysis in which hormone dose was found to be significant. Odds ratio estimates that did not contain a value of 1.00 wi thin a 95% confidence interval (CI) were considered significant. Results Ovaprim D ose E valuation Significant differences ( P = 0.0141) were identified among treatments in diameters of vitellogenic oocytes collected prior to hormone injection. Oocyte diamete rs from the 1.00 mL/kg dose were significantly smaller when compared with oocyte diameters from the 0.25 and 2.00 mL/kg treatments ( P = 0.0367 and P = 0.0217, respectively) (Table 4 1). No significant differences were detected among treatments for mean mal e TL ( P = 0.9524) and weight ( P = 0.8954) with recorded ranges of 237 15 242 25 mm and 268.3 42.3 296.5 91.7 g, respectively. Additionally, no significant differences were detected among mean female TL ( P = 0.6046) and weight ( P = 0.6025) with recorded ranges of 235 13 251 43 mm and 275.2 39.0 302.3 28.7 g, respectively. Post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters were statistically different among treatments

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53 ( P P = 0.8755) (Table 4 1). Comparison of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within treatments revealed significant ( P < 0.0001) increases in diameter after administration of all four ho rmone doses. Collected volumes of stripped eggs varied considerably within and among treatments yielding no measureable differences ( P = 0.4128) (Table 4 1). Of the 24 experimental fish examined, 13 were found to have ovulated unspawned eggs, representing 50% of the replicate females from the 0.25, 1.00, and 2.00 mL/kg treatments and 66.7% of the replicate females in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment. A total of 141,915 eggs were collected during 18 induced volitional spawning events from 13 fish over the course of this experiment. Egg production was standardized for female body weight to eliminate any potential confounding effects of body weight on observed fecundity. The 1.00 mL/kg Ovaprim treatment was not incorporated in statistical analyses of egg and larval c haracteristics as only a single spawn was collected from this treatment. Post spawn analyses revealed floating egg production ( P = 0.0170), total egg production ( P = 0.0127), and total egg ( P = 0.0184) and floating egg ( P = 0.0187) production per g bodywei ght to be significantly higher in the 2.00 mL/kg treatment when compared with the 0.50 mL/kg dose. However, no differences in sinking egg production ( P = 0.7044) per g bodyweight and sinking egg ( P = 0.5681) production were observed among any of the hormon e doses (Table 4 2). Statistical analysis of sinking egg morphometrics and fertilization percent and morphometric parameters measured for 0 DPH pinfish was unsuccessful. While ample replication was incorporated into the experimental design, decreased spawn ing frequency precluded collection of replicated data for these parameters. However,

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54 descriptive data illustrating trends in recorded parameters are presented in Figures 4 1 and 4 2 and Table 4 3. Mean fertilization rates for floating and sinking eggs were highest in the 0.25 mL/kg treatment, 94.6 9.4% and 18.3 33.9% respectively, yet analysis of floating egg fertilization rates found no differences among treatments ( P = 0.5100). Mean hatching percentage ( P = 0.6420) was highly variable within and among treatments with the 0.50 mL/kg treatment having the broadest range, 0.0 72.0%, and the highest mean hatch rate of 24.7 30.4% (Figure 4 1). Interpretation of 3 DPH data suggests the 1 mL/kg treatment had superior survival (74%), although collected data was from a single spawn. Observed 3 DPH survival rates were markedly similar in the 0.25 mL/kg (45.6 20.7%) and 0.50 mL/kg (43.0 17.5%) treatment doses, with no detectable differences ( P = 0.3826) among the 0.25, 0.50, and 2.00 mL/kg treatments (Figur e 4 1). Results of egg morphometric analyses were generally comparable among treatments and between floating and sinking eggs (Table 4 3). While significant differences ( P < 0.0001) were noted among floating eggs for all doses analyzed, mean egg diameters of treatments with the largest and smallest values differed by only 0.023 mm. Comparison of floating and sinking egg diameters irrespective of hormone dose suggested sinking eggs to be slightly larger than their floating counterparts. Mean floating and sin king OD:ED ratios were narrowly distributed, ranging from 0.20 0.02 0.22 0.01, with the oil diameter approximately 20% of the overall egg diameter (Table 4 3). Enumeration of eggs with a single oil globule appears to suggest a decrease in the presenc e of multiple oil globul es as the hormone dose increased in sinking eggs, while floating eggs exhibited no differences ( P = 0.5960) in oil globule number among hormone doses. Although results cannot be established as statistically significant,

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55 morphometric analysis indicated 0 DPH larvae in the 2.00 mL/kg treatment possessed the greatest mean yolk volume (0.176 0.096 mm 3 ) and mean NL (2.239 0.275 mm) of any hormone dose tested (Figure 4 2). Conversely, by 3 DPH larvae in the three lowest hormone dosages all exhibited mean NL >3.0 mm, with the mean NL for the highest dose significantly smaller ( P < 0.0001) than the 0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg doses at only 2.642 0.435 mm (Figure 4 2). Regression analysis of spawning frequency at 48 hours ( P = 0.5571) and egg s tripping ( P = 0.9161) did not detect significant differences among any of the hormone doses investigated. Results did indicate significant differences among hormone doses at 72 hours ( P = 0.0317) as well as 48 and 72 hours combined ( P = 0.0206). In each ca se, the 0.50 mL/kg dose was found to be superior to the 1.0 mL/kg dose. Females injected with 0.50 mL/kg were 36.00 (95% CI: 1.80, 718.70) times more likely to release eggs at 72 hours than females injected with 1.0 mL/kg. Females injected at 0.50 mL/kg we re also 22.00 (95% CI: 2.05, 236.00) times more likely to release eggs at either 48 or 72 hours than females injected with 1.0 mL/kg. Additionally, females injected with 0.50 mL/kg were 15.00 (95% CI: 1.03, 218.30) times more likely to release eggs at 72 h ours than females injected with 2.0 mL/kg. Water quality data from the two experimental recirculating systems collected over the three trials was pooled and mean water quality parameters for the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 22.61 2. 53 C; DO, 6.67 0.17 mg/L; pH, 7.54 0.13; salinity, 35.24 1.11 g/L; TAN, 0.05 0.07 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0435 0.0253 mg/L. Mean water quality parameters for the water bath over the experimental period were as

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56 follows: temperature, 21.91 0.05 C; DO, 6.84 0.38 mg/L; pH, 7.73 0.11; salinity, 34.98 0.20 g/L; TAN, 0.12 0.11 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0048 0.0038 mg/L. HCG D ose E valuation Significant differences ( P < 0.0001) were noted among treatments in mean diameters of vitellogenic oocytes collected p rior to HCG injection. Mean oocyte diameters from the 4 000 IU/kg dose were significantly larger when compared with oocyte diameters from the 500, 1 000, and 2 000 IU/kg treatments ( P = 0.0007, P < 0.0001, and P < 0.0001, respectively) (Table 4 1). No sign ificant differences were detected among treatments for mean male TL ( P = 0.4979) with a recorded range of 218 5 231 27 mm. However, a difference was observed in the omnibus ANOVA among mean male weights ( P = 0.0387), but comparison of the means using the conservative nature and control of type 1 error. Mean male weights ranged from 206.5 22.9 240.3 21.6 g. Additionally, no significant differences were detected among mean female TL ( P = 0.5703) and weight ( P = 0.3525) with recorded ranges of 220 12 233 26 mm and 236.5 22.0 267.8 33.5 g, respectively. Post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters were statistically different among treatments ( P < 0.0001 ) P = 0.9404) (Table 4 1). Comparison of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within treatments revealed a significant ( P = 0.0046) increase in diameter after administration of the 2 000 IU/kg dos e. Collected volumes of stripped eggs were negligible among the three lowest HCG doses. Only the 4 000 IU/kg dose differed significantly ( P = 0.0025) from all other doses investigated with a mean of 10.7 8.2 mL of eggs collected per pinfish (Table 4 1). Of the 24 experimental fish examined, 10 were found to have ovulated but failed to release

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57 eggs, representing 17% of the replicate females from the 500 and 1 000 IU/kg treatments, 33% of the replicate females in the 2 000 IU/kg treatment, and 100% of the f emales from the 4 000 IU/kg treatment. A total of 171,279 eggs were collected during 17 induced volitional spawning events from 14 fish over the course of this experiment. Egg production was again standardized for female body weight to eliminate any poten tial confounding effects of size on observed fecundity. The 1 000 IU/kg HCG treatment was not incorporated in statistical analyses of egg and larval characteristics as only a single spawn was collected from this treatment. Post spawn analyses revealed no significant differences in total egg ( P = 0.4418), floating egg ( P = 0.5910), and sinking egg ( P = 0.5973) production per g bodyweight in any of the treatments. Additionally no differences were observed in total egg ( P = 0.5139), floating egg ( P = 0.5752) and sinking egg ( P = 0.6192) production among any of the hormone doses (Table 4 2). Statistical analyse s of floating egg fertilization, percent hatch, 3 DPH survival, and morphometric parameters measured for floating eggs and 0 and 3 DPH pinfish was inap propriate in the context of the collected data. Descriptive data illustrating trends in recorded parameters are presented in Figures 4 3 and 4 4 and Table 4 3. Fertilization rates for floating eggs were highest in the 1000 IU/kg treatment (97%), however th is treatment only produced a single spawn. Mean floating egg fertilization rates for the remaining treatments ranged from 45.5 23.5 56.0 25.7%. Regardless of hormone dose, all sinking eggs were observed to have a 0% fertilization rate. Interestingly, the 24 hour hatch rate among all treatments was 0% for HCG induced spawns (Figure 4 3). Though, observed 3 DPH survival suggests a prolonged incubation time. Interpretation of 3 DPH data implies the

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58 1 000 IU/kg treatment to have had superior survival (50% ), however collected data was from a single spawn. Observed 3 DPH survival rates were noticeably similar in the remaining three HCG treatments ranging from 22.0 25.5 25.7 18% (Figure 4 4). Morphometric analyses of eggs collected from HCG induced spaw ns appeared to yield uniform results among treatments (Table 4 3). Egg diameter data appeared unrelated to hormone dose, however sinking egg diameters were usually larger when compared with floating egg diameters. Mean floating and sinking OD:ED ratios wer e narrowly distributed, ranging from 0.21 0.00 0.22 0.01, with the oil globule diameter approximately 22% of the overall egg diameter. Mean sinking egg oil diameters from the 500 IU/kg HCG dose were found to be significantly larger than those from bo th the 2 000 and 4 000 IU/kg treatments (Table 3). Eggs collected from the 2 000 IU/kg treatment were observed to have a higher percentage of eggs with multiple oil globules when compared with other hormone dosages, although causes remain unclear (Table 4 3). Morphometric analyses of 0 DPH larvae were unable to be carried out as 24 hour hatch rates were 0% for all treatments. Observed 3 DPH NL were similar among treatments ranging from 3.123 0.205 3.271 0.276 mm (Figure 4 4). Regression analysis of spawning frequency at 48 hours ( P = 0.3759) did not detect significant differences among any of the hormone doses investigated. Results did indicate significant differences among hormone doses at 72 hours ( P = 0.0446) as well as 48 and 72 hours combined ( P = 0.0152). In both analyses, the 4 000 IU/kg dose was found to be superior to the 1 000 IU/kg dose. Females injected with 4 000 IU/kg HCG were 36.00 (95% CI: 1.80, 718.70) times more likely to release eggs at 72 hours than females injected with 1 000 IU/k g. Females injected with 4 000 IU/kg were also 22.00

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59 (95% CI: 2.05, 236.05) times more likely to release eggs at either 48 or 72 hours than females injected with 1 000 IU/kg. Additionally, females injected with 4 000 IU/kg were 6.00 (95% CI: 1.02, 35.37) t imes more likely to release eggs at 48 or 72 hours than females injected with 2 000 IU/kg. Finally, analysis of results from egg stripping showed the 4 000 IU/kg dose to be significantly ( P = 0.0123) better at achieving egg release than the other three hor mone doses investigated. Female pinfish administered a dose of 4 000 IU/kg HCG were 35.99 (95% CI: 1.80, 718.40) times more likely to release eggs during stripping than females injected with either 500 or 1 000 IU/kg. Female pinfish injected with a dose of 4 000 IU/kg HCG were 15.00 (95% CI: 1.03, 218.30) times more likely to release eggs during stripping than females injected with 2 000 IU/kg of the hormone. Water quality data from the two experimental recirculating systems collected over the three trials was pooled and mean water quality parameters for the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 22.52 1.56 C; DO, 6.49 0.17 mg/L; pH, 7.76 0.05; salinity, 35.96 0.89 g/L; TAN, 0.05 0.11 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0190 0.0092 mg/L. Mean water qual ity parameters for the water bath over the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 22.37 0.18 C; DO, 6.75 0.24 mg/L; pH, 7.55 0.13; salinity, 35.28 0.55 g/L; TAN, 0.04 0.11 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0017 0.0021 mg/L. Discussion Observed diffe rences in pre injection ovarian biopsies were biologically negligible as mean oocyte diameters had a narrow range of 0.464 0.111 0.481 0.105 mm for the Ovaprim experiment and 0.470 0.105 0.498 0.099 for the HCG experiment. Additionally, observ ed pre injection diameters in this experiment were similar to those used by Cardeilhac (1976) for HCG induced spawning and to those used by DiMaggio

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60 et al. (2010) for Ovaprim induced spawning in pinfish. Moreover, such a narrow range of mean oocyte diamet ers is difficult to achieve in spawning studies due to the inherent variability in gamete development among cohorts and recorded statistical differences were primarily a result of the large sample size (n = 600) analyzed for each treatment. However, when p re injection oocyte diameters were juxtaposed with post injection diameters, pre existing differences among treatments nullified certain observed treatment differences post injection as these differences may not have been be solely attributable to treatmen t effects. Accordingly, results from the Ovaprim trial indicating significantly larger post injection oocyte diameters for the 0.25 mL/kg when compared with the 0.50 mL/kg ( P = 0.0065) and 2.00 mL/kg ( P = 0.0510) treatments wer e conservative conclusions a s no statistically discernible differences were detected prior to injection (Table 4 1). Differences observed in pre injection oocyte diameters among HCG treatments were again noted in recorded oocyte diameters post injection, suggesting no treatment effec a percent of the initial diameter did not help to elucidate differences among doses in either of the hormones tested. Due to the asynchronous development of oocytes within the ovaries of pinfish it may be reasonable to assume th at as cohorts of oocytes underwent FOM and wer e ovulated mean oocyte di ameter within the ovaries either stay ed the same, as the next cohort of oocytes developed to replace the ovulated cohort, or decrease d a s the next cohort of oocytes lag ged in development. Thus it may have been observed in treatment groups with the lowest spawning f requency, allowing for increased in oocyte development and diameter without the loss of larger oocytes to ovulation. However,

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61 data from the 1.00 mL/kg Ovaprim and 1 000 IU/kg HCG treatments failed to corroborate this hypothesis as both treatments each only produced a single s pawn and re they statistically different from other treat ments with numerous spawning events. Evaluation of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within Ovaprim treatments indicated significant ( P < 0.0001) increases in diameter 72 hours after administration of all four hormone doses regardless of spawni ng activity. Collectively, these results support the ability of Ovaprim to promote oocyte development in any of the doses investigated. Significant increases in vitellogenic oocyte diameters were only noted in the 2 000 IU/kg HCG dose. Although spawning f requency, fecundity, and egg viability may be better estimators of hormone dose efficacy, observed increases in vitellogenic oocytes, even after repeated spawns, confirms the ability of the hormone to stimulate growth in oocytes at various developmental st ages. Conversely, the marginal spawning success of the 1 000 IU/kg HCG dose coupled with lack of significant oocyte development observed under experimental conditions precludes any recommendation for utilization of this dose with pinfish in further spawn ing scenarios. The ultimate goal of hormone administration in captive reproduction of fishes is induction of FOM and ovulation, leading to either successful volitional spawning or manual stripping. Pinfish in both experiments were given a 72 hour window to volitionally release any ovulated eggs after which they were manually stripped. Analysis of spawning success at 72 hours and a 48 and 72 hour combined interval indicated the 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim dose to be superior to the 1.0 mL/kg dose at both time interv als, producing 8 spawns over the 72 hour experiment. Additionally, the 0.50 mL/kg dose

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62 was determined to be 15 times more likely to result in a successful spawn at 72 hours when compared with the 2.0 mL/kg dose, having produced 6 spawns and 2 spawns, respe ctively. Taken together, these data suggest superior spawning frequency at the lower doses of Ovaprim investigated. Multiple spawns after a single hormone injection have also been reported in b l ack sea bass, Centropristis striata Investigations by Berlin sky et al. (2005) showed a single intramuscular injection of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue (LHRHa) at a dosage of 20 or 100 g/kg was effective at producing a mean of 2 spawns from captive black sea bass. Evaluation of HCG doses revealed p infish injected with 4 000 IU/kg produced 5 spawns at the 72 hour interval compared with 0 spawns collected from the 1 000 IU/kg treatment. Examination of the 48 and 72 hour combined interval again substantiated the 4 000 IU/kg dose (8 spawns) to be superi or when compared with the reproductive output of the 1 000 (1 spawn) and 2 000 IU/kg (3 spawns) HCG doses. Observed results support a divergence from the trend noted in the Ovaprim study, instead suggesting superior spawning frequency at the higher gonado tropin doses tested. These opposing results may be partially attributable to the mechanism of action for each of the hormones in question. As Ovaprim is a GnRH agonist, it acts higher up in the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis than gonadotropins like H CG. Accordingly, Ovaprim may stimulate the release of other endogenous hormones like growth hormone (Le Gac et al., 1993) and insulin like growth factors (Negatu et al., 1998) which have been implicated in the FOM process. Administration of HCG alone does not result in the same stimulatory effect and thus may require larger doses of gonadotropins to affect FOM and ovulation. Reduced spawning frequency at higher Ovaprim doses is not as readily explained. Introduction

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63 of exogenous GnRH via Ovaprim injectio n should manifest in the release of l uteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary which in turn triggers steroidogenesis, FOM, and ovulation. This physiological progression appears to diminish in its efficacy as evidenced by the two highest Ovaprim doses. I t may be possible that excessive concentrations of GnRHa may have anti gonadotropic effects due to pituitary desensitization resulting in decreased LH secretion and reduced FOM, but such mechanisms remain unclear. The effects of hormone induced spawning on egg quantity and quality are important considerations in determination of appropriate hormone dosage regimes. Tradeoffs in spawning frequency, egg quantity, viability, and profitability must be evaluated and decisions regarding broodstock management shoul d be shaped by market demand and production goals. Pinfish females injected with 2.0 mL/kg Ovaprim produced significantly more total eggs (43.4 14.2) and floating eggs (41.9 15.9) per gram body weight than females in the 0.5 mL/kg treatment. However, the increased spawning frequency previously recorded for the 0.5 mL/kg treatment must be differences were observed between the highest Ovaprim dose and total eggs (30.7 18.2 ) and floating eggs (27.3 16.4) spawned per gram body weight for the 0.25 mL/kg dose; again implying no subs tantial advantage for the higher Ovaprim dosages. Results from Ovaprim dosage experiments with Asian catfish, Clarias batrachus have shown peak egg production to come from females injected with 20 g sGnRHa + 10 mg domperidone (1 mL/kg) when stripped at 23 hours after injection, although the influence of the latency period may be as significant as hormone dose (Sahoo et al., 2005).

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64 Conversely, di fferences among doses for all of the fecundity parameters measured in the HCG experiment were not statistically significant. Therefore it may be concluded that in pinfish, larger HCG doses offer no perceived increase in batch fecundity but instead enhance overall fecundity via escalation in total spawning events. Interesting ly, no differences were found among any of the Ovaprim or HCG treatments for any of the sinking egg fecundity measurements examined. It is plausible that large hormone doses may have h ad deleterious effects on egg quality and therefore bu oyancy, but collected data showed no indication of a dose dependent response for sinking egg production in either of the hormones tested. Superior egg quality is usually defined by low mortality at fer tilization, hatch, and first feeding resulting in the production of robust larvae (Bromage et al., 1992). Observed trends for Ovaprim doses show ed the highest recorded fertilization rates in the lowest hormone doses for both floating and sinking eggs. Red uced fertilization has been shown by Mylonas et al. (1992) to result from high doses of GnRHa administered to brown trout ( Salmo trutta ) and it is feasible that the highest Ovaprim doses used in this experiment may have elicited the same response in pinfi sh eggs. Additionally, the positive correlation between buoyancy and egg quality may not be an accurate estimator for all marine species (Brooks et al., 1997). Fertilization results from sinking eggs collected from pinfish at the lowest Ovaprim dose sugg est ed moderate fertilization rate s (18.3 33.9%) were possible. With the exception of the high floating fertilization recorded from the single 1 000 IU/kg HCG spawn, there appeared to be a subtle trend of increased fertilization with increased HCG dose in the collected data.

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65 Similarly, Sahoo et al. (2007) reports high fertilization and hatching percentages for increasing HCG doses (3000 5000 IU/kg) in Asian catfish. Egg diameter appeared to be uninfluenced by hormone dose in both experiments. However, sinking egg diameters appeared marginally larger when compared with floating egg diameters from the same hormone dose. Increased viable egg diameter and therefore egg size, may convey distinct developmental advantages manifesting as enlarged yolk reserves or increased larval size (Brooks et al., 1997). Increased sinking egg diameters were likely not advantageous in this experiment, but instead the result of complications in the FOM process or over ripening (Brooks et al., 1997; Lahnsteiner, 2000). The prese nce of multiple oil globules within spawned eggs has long been considered an indication of inferior egg quality, however result s of recent studies suggest this to be an overly broad generalization. Research with Japanese sea bass, Lateolabrax japonicas r evealed eggs which exhibited multiple oil globules resulted in hatch rates of 80% with negligible larval deformities ( Makino et al. 1999) Mo re recently, Bourque and Phelps (2007) showed red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus eggs containing multiple oil globu les to be superior in fertilization and survival when compared with eggs having a single oil globule. In the current experiment, the percentage of eggs with multiple oil globules was generally low, < 20% for most doses of Ovaprim or HCG, and did not seem to correlate well with observed trends in fertilization or hatching percent. Increased Ovaprim doses seemed to result in a smaller percentage of eggs with multiple oil globules, however results from analysis of floating eggs indicated no significant diff erences among treatments. The 47% of floating eggs from the 2 000 IU/kg HCG treatment recorded to h ave a single oil globule

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66 appeared to be an aberrant value not easily explained as fertilization and 3 DPH survival data did not show a marked deviation from other HCG doses. Analysis of percent hatch data and thus 0 DPH larval morphometrics was complicated by delayed hatching times in both experiments. Fertilized pinfish eggs incubated at 22C will generally hatch within 24 hours in a static aerated water bath Observed hatching times for eggs collected from both the Ovaprim and HCG experiments were delayed an additional 6 to 18 hours for some spawns, resulting in reductions in data available for collection. It is conceivable that broodstock nutrition may have prompted the difficulties experienced with egg incubation but more likely that hormone type and dose was a greater contributor, as none of the eggs in the HCG experiment hatched within 24 hours. Consequently, 3 DPH survival estimates may have exceed ed 24 hour hatch percentages in some instances. Lack of hatching in the HCG experiment prevented evaluation of larval morphometric parameters. However, 3 DPH survival rates of approximately 25% for the 500, 2 000, and 4 000 IU/kg doses as well as similarities in calculated NL suggest ed no appreciable differences among these treatment doses. Interestingly, similar 36 hour post hatch survival rates (23.2 3.49%) have been reported by Bourque and Phelps (2007) for red snapper induced to spawn with 1 100 IU/kg HCG. Analysis of Ovaprim hatching percentage was highly variable among treatments (0.0 24.7%) and results of 3 DPH survival may have been a better estimator of treatment effects. Despite the highest 3 DPH survival (74.0%) occurring in the 1 mL/kg dose, it should be noted that this data wa s from a single spawning event and results should be interpreted cautiously. Observed 3 DPH survival in the two lowest

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67 Ovaprim dosages was approximately 45.0% compared with the 28.0 20.7% survival recorded for the 2.0 mL /kg dose however these dif ferences were not significant. Morphometric evaluation of larvae at 0 DPH indicated that larvae resulting from the highest Ovaprim dose may have had a slightly larger NL and yolk reserve at hatch. Curiously, this advantage quic kly wane d as the smallest mean 3 DPH NL (2.642 0.435 mm) was recorded in the 2.0 mL/kg treatment. These results further validate the lower Ovaprim doses as preferred choices for hormone induced spawning of pinfish. Reproductive dysfunction, while gener ally categorized as the failure of fishes to undergo FOM, may also present as egg retention after ovulation. This failure to spawn may not only be due to deficiencies in endocrine signaling but it may also result from the absence of key environmental and s ocial cues (Mylonas and Zohar, 2001). For both hormone dose experiments, pinfish were manually stripped at the completion of the 72 hour experiment to check for fish that ovulated and never spawned or fish which only partially spawned. Results of the Ovapr im study did not elucidate any dose dependent response in stripping frequency or stripped egg volume among any of the treatments examined. Yet, 54% of all Ovaprim injected fish released eggs upon manual stripping. Regression analysis of pinfish injected with 4 000 IU/kg HCG showed these fish were at least 15 times more likely to release eggs upon manual stripping than all other treatment doses investigated. Moreover, the volume of eggs released from these stripping events was found to be significantly lar ger when compared with the stripped egg volumes from all other treatments. While administered doses of both hormones were met with varying d egrees of spawning success, it wa s evident by the egg retention

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68 recorded that deficiencies existed in requisite chem ical and or environmental cues among female pinfish. Results from the current study illustrate both Ovaprim and HCG to be effective at inducing FOM, ovulation, and spawning in captive pinfish at various dosages. Superior fecundity, fertilization and 3 DP H survival rates, and robust larvae make the 0.25 or 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim doses a sound choice for implementation in a commercial production protocol. Unfortunately, Ovaprim is not currently approved for use in baitfish species. Further studies examining t he effect of repeated injection or implantation of extended release GnRHa pellets on prolonged spawning in this species would be of great value. Data from the HCG dosage experiment established the 4 000 IU/kg treatment as an effective and approved dose for induction spawning of pinfish in captivity. Results of manual stripping indicate incomplete spawning at this dose. Evaluation of strip spawning as a primary means of larval production warrants further investigation as manual stripping may help to further synchronize spawning among broodstock and reduce the number of larval cohorts simultaneously in production. Furthermore, identification of effective hormone doses is a critical step in the development of a commercial spawning protocol. Pinfish represent a species with untapped aquaculture potential and results from this experiment will help growers to refine production methods and capitalize on the strong demand and established markets for this marine baitfish species.

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69 Table 4 1. Mean (SD) pre injection o ocyte diameter, post injection oocyte diameter, stripped egg volume, and change in mean vitellogenic oocyte diameter P values) of paired t tests comparing pre injection and post injectio n vitellogenic oocyte diameters within hormone doses is presented. Hormone Dose Pre injection oocyte diameter (mm) Post injection oocyte diameter (mm) t test ( P ) Stripped egg volume (mL) Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 0.480 0.103 a 0.532 0.097 a <0. 0001 11.0 10.1 a 0.7 0.9 a 0.50 mL/kg 0.478 0.105 ab 0.512 0.095 b <0.0001 7.2 3.3 a 3.0 5.2 a 1.00 mL/kg 0.464 0.111 b 0.507 0.110 b <0.0001 9.6 8.3 a 1.6 2.7 a 2.00 mL/kg 0.481 0.105 a 0.516 0.110 b <0.0001 7.4 3.7 a 4.5 5.6 a HCG 500 IU/kg 0.475 0.106 b 0.478 0.112 b 0.6051 1.5 11.0 a 0.2 0.5 b 1 000 IU/kg 0.470 0.105 b 0.476 0.106 b 0.2856 1.5 5.5 a 1.1 2.8 b 2 000 IU/kg 0.470 0.099 b 0.486 0.101 b 0.0046 3.6 6.3 a 0.3 0.5 b 4 000 IU/kg 0.498 0.099 a 0.505 0.116 a 0.2256 1.6 3.1 a 10.7 8.2 a a Different letters within colum ns and unique to hormone denote statistical significance ( P

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70 Table 4 2. Mean ( SD) number of total, floating, and sinking eggs released per spawn and total, floating, and si nking eggs spawned per gram body weight (BW) for Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments with pinfish. Hormone Dose Total eggs spawned Floating eggs spawned Sinking eggs spawned Total eggs spawned per gram BW Floating eggs spawned per gram BW Sinking eggs spa wned per gram BW Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 10 003.4 6 081.6 ab 8 876.0 5 434.6 ab 1 127.4 997.1 a 30.7 18.2 ab 27.3 16.4 ab 3.5 3.0 a 0.50 mL/kg 4 541.3 2 197.1 b 3 680.4 3 091.2 b 860.9 1 287.5 a 17.2 9.7 b 13.9 12.8 b 3.4 5.2 a 1.00 mL /kg* 9 048.0 6 409.0 2 639.0 28.2 20.0 8.2 2.00 mL/kg 11 630.0 2 030.4 a 11 140.3 2 561.7 a 489.8 757.1 a 43.4 14.2 a 41.9 15.9 a 1.5 2.3 a HCG 500 IU/kg 15 464.8 21 655.2 a 10 677.8 16 954.4 a 4 787.0 5 786.0 a 65.0 93.0 a 44.9 72.8 a 20.1 24.6 a 1 000 IU/kg* 9 120.0 7 904.0 1 216.0 28.9 25.0 3.8 2 000 IU/kg 3 097.0 3 375.5 a 2 048.0 3 217.9 a 1 049.0 240.0 a 12.7 14.4 a 8.6 13.6 a 4.2 1.1 a 4 000 IU/kg 9 443.1 8 236.5 a 5 888.2 6 017.2 a 3 554.9 3 212.3 a 35.9 27.5 a 22.4 21.2 a 13.5 10.5 a Data presented are from a single collected spawn and were not included in statistical analyses a Different letters within columns and unique to hormone denote statistical significance ( P

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71 Table 4 3. Mean (SD) egg di ameter, oil diameter, oil diameter : egg diameter ratio, and percentage of eggs with a single oil globule for floating and sinking pinfish eggs collected from Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments. Hormone Dose Floating egg diameter (mm) Floating oil diameter (mm) Floating oil diameter : egg diameter % Floating eggs with single oil globule Sinking egg diameter (mm) Sinking oil diameter (mm) Sinking oil diameter : egg diameter % Sinking eggs with single oil globule Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 1.007 0.026 a 0.210 0.012 a 0.21 0.01 a 81.4 19.1 a 1.006 0.062 0.208 0.015 0.21 0.02 81.0 29.0 0.50 mL/kg 0.984 0.022 c 0.206 0.033 b 0.21 0.03 a 79.2 38.3 a 1.079 0.070 0.215 0.009 0.20 0.02 92.0 0.0 1.00 mL/kg* 1.002 0.028 0.217 0.008 0.2 2 0.01 98.0 1.031 0.037 0.219 0.009 0.21 0.01 98.0 2.00 mL/kg 0.999 0.035 b 0.207 0.009 ab 0.21 0.01 a 96.5 2.6 a 1.008 0.042 0.209 0.009 0.21 0.01 99.5 0.7 HCG 500 IU/kg 0.991 0.053 0.215 0.011 0.22 0.01 94.0 8.0 1.0 18 0.069 a 0.222 0.009 a 0.22 0.01 a 98.8 1.5 a 1 000 IU/kg* 0.969 0.012 0.202 0.005 0.21 0.00 98.0 1.032 0.032 0.213 0.008 0.21 0.01 99.0 2 000 IU/kg 1.015 0.026 0.221 0.008 0.22 0.01 47.0 18.4 1.009 0.039 a 0.219 0.011 b 0.2 2 0.01 a 71.2 31.3 a 4 000 IU/kg 0.954 0.043 0.208 0.007 0.22 0.01 93.6 5.3 1.016 0.068 a 0.219 0.008 b 0.22 0.01 a 92.7 8.5 a Mean SD in these rows are a result of single spawning event. a Different letters within colum ns and uniqu e to hormone denote statistical significance ( P Values without letters were not included in statistical analyses.

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72 Figure 4 1. Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pinfish eggs from the Ovaprim dose evaluation. Data pre sented for the 1.00 mL/kg dose wa s from a single spawning event and was omitted from statistical analysis. Different letters among treatments wi thin measured paramet ers denote statistical significance ( P analyses.

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73 Figure 4 2. Mean 0 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length, oil diameter, and 3 DPH notochord length measured in millimeters (mm) on the primary y axis. Mean 0 DPH yolk volume measure d in mm 3 on the secondary y axis. All morphometric data was collected from pinfish larvae produced du ring the Ovaprim dose evaluation Only 3 DPH data are presented for the 1.00 mL/kg dose as 0 DPH data was unavailable from this single spawn. Different letters among treatments fo r 3 DPH notochord length denote statistical significance ( P statistical analyses.

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74 Figure 4 3. Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pinfish eggs fr om the HCG dose evaluation. Data pre sented for the 1000 IU/kg dose wa s from a single spawning event. Different letters among treatments for s inking egg fertilization denote statistical significance ( P included in statistical analyses.

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75 Figure 4 4. Mean 3 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length for pinfish larvae produc ed during the HCG dose evaluation No morphometric data for 0 DPH larvae is presented as 24 hour hatch was 0% for all HCG doses. No statistical analysis could be performed on 3 DPH notochord lengths. Data pre sented for the 1000 IU/kg dose wa s from a single spawning event.

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76 CHAPTER 5 EVALUATION OF OVAPRI M AND HUMAN CHORIONI C GONADOTROPIN DOSES ON SPAWNING INDUCTIO N AND EG G AND LARVAL QUALITY OF PIGFISH, O rthopristis chrysoptera Introduction The pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera is a member of the grunt family (Haemulidae) with a distribution from Massachusetts south throughout the Gulf of Mexico (Darcy, 1983; Sutter and M cIlwain, 1987). Commonly encountered in the shallow coastal waters of its range, it is a popular forage species for many inshore game fish targeted by anglers. Consequently, the commercial value of this species is as a live marine baitfish used by recreati onal anglers throughout the southeastern United States. Due to high market value (Adams et al., 1998) and fluctuations in supply due to natural reproductive migrations and environmental anomalies, interest in development of a cultured product to supplement this capture fishery has grown. Identified by Oesterling et al. (2004) as a species with great potential for commercial production, spawning and culture techniques for pigfish were recognized as areas of needed research. Currently there is a dearth of inf ormation pertaining to the captive culture of this species. Development of reliable spawning protocols that result in production of high quality eggs and larvae is of paramount importance for successful commercialization of pigfish aquaculture. Reproductiv e dysfunction in captive fishes is a common occurrence and is usually the result of deficiencies in environmental stimuli which fail to trigger the requisite hormonal cascades for gamete maturation (Zohar and Mylonas, 2001). Manipulation of water temperatu re, photoperiod, and salinity to closely replicate natural spawning

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77 conditions does not guarantee successful reproductive performance in a captive setting. Additionally, the economic investment in infrastructure must be considered and though environmental manipulation may be feasible it may not be practical in all production scenarios (Patino, 1997). Thus, the use of exogenous hormone preparations for induced gamete development may be the only effective technique for many of the marine species cultured toda y (Mylonas and Zohar, 2001). The use of gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues (GnRHa) and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to induce gamete maturation in fishes has been extensively reviewed in recent aquaculture literature (Patino, 1997; Mylonas and Zohar, 2001; Zohar and Mylonas, 2001; Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). A myriad of experiments examining hormone type, administration route, and dosage have been carried out on numerous species of fish such as the black sea bass, Centropristis striata (Berlinsky et al. 2005; Watanabe et al. 2003), gilthead sea bream, Sparus aurata (Zohar and Gordin, 1979; Barbaro et al. 1997), Florida pompano, Trachinotus carolinus (Weirich and Riley, 2007), and Asian catfish, Clarias batrachus (Sahoo et al. 2005, Sahoo et al. 20 07, Sahoo et al. 2008). Results from studies such as these, help to shape species specific production protocols to ensure effective administration of chosen hormones. However, it may be prudent to reevaluate induced spawning protocols with new aquaculture candidates as efficacy of hormone type and dose may not be equivalent across multiple species. Under or overdosing of hormones may result in reduced quantity or quality of collected spawns. Hence, the importance of empirically establishing appropriate horm one doses unique to species cannot be overstated (Mylonas and Zohar, 2007).

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78 Choices of legal spawning aids for use with finfish are currently limited to HCG, marketed under the name Chorulon (Intervet Inc., Summit, NJ, USA). It is presently the only Unit ed States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved spawning aid for use in commercial finfish production. Usually administered as an intramuscular injection, it acts lower in the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis than GnRHa preparations. Nevertheles s, it has proven to be a viable option for treating arrested gametogenesis in fishes. Ovaprim (Western Chemical Inc., Ferndale, WA, USA) is another spawning aid which is c urrently indexed by the USFDA as a Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drug for M inor Species. A liquid peptide preparation of a s almon gonadotropin releasing hormone analog (sGnRHa, D Arg 6 Pro 9 and a dopamine antagonist (Domperidone, 10 mg/mL), it is legal for use in ornamental finfish broodstock. Acting directly on the pituitary, this preparation triggers the release of the gonadotropin hormones necessary for steroidogenesis and FOM while preventing dopaminergic inhibition of hormone cascades. Both hormones are logical choices for potential use in captive spawning of pi gfish broodstock, however effective doses are unknown at this time. Pigfish are gonochoristic and exhibit asynchronous oocyte development. They readily undergo vitellogenesis in captivity, but final oocyte maturation (FOM), ovulation, and spawning can be u npredictable. Furthermore, synchronization of spawning among cohorts of brood fish allows for efficient use of labor and infrastructure thus increasing profit potential. To date, no publications exist which examine hormone induced spawning in pigfish. Rece nt successes with induced spawning of marine baitfish species like the spot, Leiostomus xanthurus (Oesterling et al, 2005), pinfish, Lagodon

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79 rhomboides (DiMaggio et al., 2010) and Atlantic croaker, Micropogonias undulatu s (Sink et al. 2010) are encouragin g for the industry and clearly demonstrate the need for evaluation of induced spawning protocols with pigfish. Therefore, the objectives of this investigation were to assess the effects of various doses of Ovaprim and HCG on FOM, ovulation, and spawning i n pigfish. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative variables for both eggs and larvae will elucidate the most efficacious dose for each hormone. Results from these experiments will provide critical information regarding induced captive spawning of pigfish and contribute to the progression of the marine baitfish industry. Methods Broodstock A cquisition and C onditioning Pigfish broodstock were collected by commercial fishers from the Indian River Lagoon near Fort Pierce, Florida, USA and were temporarily qua rantined in a 2,536 L tank with flow through seawater. Health assessments were executed and fish were treated for external parasites with 250 mg/L formalin baths (Parasite S, Western Chemical Inc., Ferndale, WA, USA) and administered a 10 day course of oxy tetracycline feed (Terramycin 200, 2.5 g/lb, Phibro Animal Health, Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA) to prevent bacterial infection following capture and handling stress. Formalin baths lasted one hour and were conducted on alternate days for a total of five trea tments. Following the final bath, pigfish were reexamined to ensure treatment effectiveness and confirm the health status of all fish to be used in subsequent experimentation at the University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) i n Fort Pierce, Florida.

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80 Prior to experimentation, pigfish were held in four 1 600 L circular tanks within a recirculating system inside a greenhouse for a minimum of one year to allow for acclimation to culture conditions. The holding system was comprised of four 1 600 L culture tanks, a 1 600 L sump, bead filter, protein skimmer, two ultraviolet sterilizers, supplemental aeration, and a 1 1/2 hp centrifugal pump. The brood system was maintained with sterilized natural seawater from the Atlantic Ocean at a salinity of 35 g/L with an ambient temperature and photoperiod in an effort to closely replicate the behavior. Furthermore, this acclimation period allowed for standardization o f nutrition among brood fish, thereby minimizing the effects of dietary variation on reproductive performance. A maintenance diet which consisted of a 2.0 mm slow sinking pellet (Zeigler Bros. Inc. Gardners, PA, USA, 50% protein, 15% fat, 2% fiber, 12% moi sture, and 8% ash) was fed to satiation once daily in the eight months preceding the spawning season. Four months prior to the initiation of spawning experiments the maintenance diet was supplemented with the addition of frozen squid, Loligo opalescens an d krill, Euphausia superba and fed twice daily to satiation. Ovaprim D ose E valuation The absence of sexual dimorphism in pigfish necessitated gender confirmation and estimation of gonadal maturity via observation of gamete development. Male pigfish sele cted for experimentation exhibited flowing milt upon gentle palpation of the coelom anterior to the urogenital opening. Fish which failed to express milt were anaesthetized in 125 250 mg/L Quinaldine Sulphate (Fishman Chemical LLC., Fort Pierce, FL, USA ) and a T eflon catheter (0.97 mm inside diameter, 1.27 mm outside diameter) was inserted into the urogenital opening and suction was applied. Collected ovarian samples

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81 were placed on a Sedgewick Rafter counting cell to provide scale and photographed with a trinocular dissecting microscope outfitted with a digital camera. As pigfish employ an asynchronous spawning modality, the diameter of vitellogenic oocytes in all stages of development (n = 100) within a sample was determined using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 softw are (Systat Software Inc., Point Richmond, CA, USA). Female pigfish with mean vitellogenic egg diameters >0.400 mm were selected for induced spawning trials. All pigfish were individually weighed and measured for total length (TL) and randomly assigned to one of four Ovaprim dosage treatment groups. Female pigfish treatment dosages investigated were 0.25 mL/kg (5 g sGnRHa + 2.5 mg domperidone), 0.50 mL/kg (10 g sGnRHa + 5 mg domperidone), 1.00 mL/kg (20 g sGnRHa + 10 mg domperidone), and 2.00 mL/kg (40 g sGnRHa + 20 mg domperidone) of Ovaprim injected into the dorsal musculature. Male pigfish received one half the dosage (0.125, 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 mL/kg) administered to corresponding females to ensure spermiation. Four identical 2 200 L recirculating systems were used in the Ovaprim spawning experiment and each consisted of a single 2 000 L tank, trickle filter, UV sterilizer, supplemental aeration, bag filter, external egg collector, and conical tank lid with artificial lighting. Egg collectors were 200 L in volume and engineered to collect both floating and sinking eggs within a 500 m mesh enclosure. Anaesthetized fish were allowed to recover after which one male and one female from the same treatment were stocked in a single recirculating system. Each treatment was replicated a single time for a single trial and six consecutive spawning trials were conducted, yielding a total of six replicates per treatment. Feed was withheld following hormone injection to prevent fouling of egg collectors througho ut the remainder of the experiment.

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82 Spawning experiments lasted a total of 72 hours after hormone injection and egg collectors were checked at 24, 48, and 72 hours for the presence of eggs. For each observed spawn from every replicate, both floating and si nking eggs were collected and transfer red to a graduated cylinder containing seawater for separation and volumetric enumeration. D ependent upon total spawn volume t hree to four 0.5 mL subsamples of floating eggs were removed for quantification. An additio nal subsample of 100 floating and 100 sinking eggs was removed and examined microscopically to determine fertilization rate and developmental stage and photographed for subsequent morphometric analysis. Catalogued pictures of both floating and sinking eggs were analyzed using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software to determine egg diameter (n = 50), oil diameter (n = 50), and percentage of eggs observed to have a single oil droplet (%SO) (n = 100). An oil diameter : egg diameter (OD:ED) ratio was calculated by dividing the oil diameter by the overall egg diameter. Hatching percentage was determined by stocking 50 floating eggs from every spawn in an individual 1 L container (750 mL fluid volume) outfitted with a 55 m screen bottom. Hatching containers were then floa ted in a 325 L water bath at 22C to ensure equivalent water quality and temperature among replicates. Following 24 h in the water bath, hatching containers were removed a nd the number of hatched larvae (0 days post hatch [DPH]) was recorded and photographed using the methods previously described. Survival to first feeding (2 DPH) was determined using the same methods employed for hatching percentage with larvae quantitated and photographed after 48 hours. Photographs of hatched 0 DPH larvae (n = 10) were mea sured to determine notochord length (NL), oil diameter, yolk length, and yolk height. Notochord length was defined as a straight line measurement of from

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83 the anterior most point on the head to the posterior tip of the notochord. Yolk volume (V y ) was calcul ated using the formula for a prolate sphere (Avila and Juario, 1987): V y = y H y 2 where L y is yolk length and H y is yolk height. Live 2 DPH larvae (n = 10 ) were measured only for NL. All measurements for 0 and 2 DPH larvae were carried out using SigmaScan Pro 5.0 software. Seventy two hours after injection, female pigfish from all treatments and replicates were once again anaesthetized and gentle pressure was applied to the coelom to express any ovulated unspawned eggs. Stripped eggs were collected and transferred to a graduated cylinder and the volume was recorded. Intrao varian biopsies were again collected and photographed as previously described and all vitellogenic oocytes were digitally measured to determine diameter. Changes in mean vitellogenic o ocyte percent of the mean pre OD Pr OD ) / Pr OD ] x 100, where P OD is post injection oocyte diameter and Pr OD is pre injection oocyte diameter. HCG D ose E valuation Methods for the HCG dose evaluation experiment adhere to the methods previously described for the Ovaprim dose evaluation experiment except as noted below. Female pigfish with mean vitellogenic egg diameters >0.400 mm were selected fo r induced spawning trials with HCG. All pigfish were individually weighed and measured for total length (TL) and randomly assigned to one of four HCG dosage treatment groups. Female pigfish treatment dosages investigated were 500, 1 000, 2 000, and 4 000 I U/kg of HCG injected into the dorsal musculature. Male pigfish received one half the dosage (250, 500, 1 000, and 2 000 IU/kg) administered to corresponding females to ensure spermiation. Recirculating systems used in HCG

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84 spawning trials were identical to the holding systems previously described except each 1600 L tank was outfitted with an external 200 L egg collector engineered to collect both floating and sinking eggs within a 500 m mesh enclosure. Each treatment was replicated a single time within each of two recirculating systems for a single trial and three consecutive spawning trials were conducted, yielding a total of six replicates per treatment. Catalogued pictures of both floating and sinking eggs were analyzed as previously stated to determine e gg diameter (n = 100), oil diameter (n = 100), and %SO (n = 100). Water Quality Water quality parameters in both the experimental recirculating systems and the water bath were evaluated daily. Dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, temperature, and pH were deter mined using a YSI 556 multiparameter meter (YSI Inc., Yellow Springs, OH, USA) during both experiments. Total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and nitrite were measured using a Hach DR 4000 spectrophotometer (Hach Company, Loveland, CO, USA). Statistical A nalysis S tatistical differences among treatments for pigfish weight, TL, vitellogenic oocyte quantities per gram body weight, floating and sinking egg morphometrics (diameter, o il diameter, OD:ED, %SO), 0 DPH larval morphometrics (NL, oil diameter, yolk volume) and 2 DPH NL were determined using the PROC GLM function of SAS version 9.3 Data whic h had a non normal distribution was subjected to a Kruskal Wallis one way analysis of variance and pairwise comparisons were made using the Wilcoxon rank sum

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85 test with a Bonferroni correction. Comparisons of pre injection and post injection vitellogenic oo cyte diameters within treatments were carried out using a two tailed test. All percentage data was arcsine square root transformed prior to analysis. All numerical data are represented as the mean SD. A P 0.05 was considered st atistically significant for all analyses unless otherwise noted. Logistic regression was used to assess the effect of hormone dose on spawning frequency. One data set contained all monitored spawning frequency data; the presence of eggs at 24, 48 and 72 ho urs post injection and after stripping were each coded as 1 and the lack of eggs at these monitored time periods was coded as 0. Five separate regression analyses were performed to assess hormone dose effects on the presence of eggs at 24 hours post inject ion, 48 hours post injection, 72 hours post injection, presence of eggs at either 24, 48 or 72 hours post injection, and presence of eggs after stripping. A 24 hour post injection regression was not conducted for the Ovaprim experiment as no spawns were r ecorded for that interval. Hormone dose was the only analyzed predictor variable and was treated as a qualitative variable during all analyses. In the event all observed response values for a given dose at an examined time period were either all 0 or 1, an additional set of similar data points (all 0 or 1) for all doses were added for the regression analysis which assured at least one 0 or 1 response for that dose with all like response values in order to allow for estimation of odds ratio estimates (Frisch knecht et al., 2011). F or each analysis l ikelihood ratio P values were used to determine if hormone dose had a significant effect on egg release and a P ratio estimates were calculated for each analysis in which hormone dose was found to

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86 be significant. Odds ratio estimates that did not contain a value of 1.00 within a 95% confi dence interval (CI) were considered significant. Results Ovaprim D ose E valuation Significant differences ( P < 0.0001) were noted among treatments in diameters of vitellogenic oocytes collected prior to hormone injection. Oocyte diameters from the 0.50 mL/k g dose were significantly larger than all other treatments ( P measured diameters of oocytes in the 2.0 mL/kg dose were significantly smaller ( P 0.0035) than all other treatments (Table 5 1). No significant differences were detected among treatments for mean male TL ( P = 0.6019) and weight ( P = 0.87 20) with recorded ranges of 202 34 223 28 mm and 130.0 45.0 148.8 51.0 g, respectively. Additionally, no significant differences were detected among mean female TL ( P = 0.4406) and weight ( P = 0.3182) with recorded ranges of 222 8 231 17 mm and 148.3 14.8 166.8 19.3 g, respectively. Post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters were statistically different among treatments ( P < 0.0001) with the 2.0 mL/kg diameters observed to be larger than all other treatments ( P < 0.0002), yet analy sis of P = 0.2692) (Table 5 1). Assessment of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within treatments revealed significant ( P < 0.0057) decreases in diameter after administration of 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 mL/kg Ovaprim. A significant increase ( P < 0.0001) in post injection oocyte diameter was noted for the 2.00 mL/kg dose. Collected volumes of stripped egg s were negligible 72 hours post injection with no significant differences detected among any of the treatments ( P = 0. 5531) (Table 5 1). Of the 24 female pigfish examined only two were found to have

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87 ovulated and not spawned eggs. Eggs were never successfully stripped from pigfish in the 0.50 and 2.00 mL/kg treatments. A total of 675 286 eggs were collected during 24 indu ced volitional spawning events from 20 fish over the course of this experiment. Egg production was standardized for female body weight to eliminate possible effects of body weight on observed fecundity. Analysis of fecundity data indicated no significant d ifferences among Ovaprim doses for total egg ( P = 0.4667), floating egg ( P = 0.9427), and sinking egg ( P = 0.3515) production as well as total egg ( P = 0.5091), floating egg ( P = 0.9601), and sinking egg ( P = 0.4304) production per g bodyweight (Table 5 2 ). Subsequent evaluations of floating egg fertilization, percent hatch, 2 DPH survival, and 0 and 2 DPH larval morphometrics omitted the 2.00 mL/kg treatment as insufficient data prevented inclusion in statistical analyses. Results depicted in Figures 5 1 and 5 2 include data points from the 2.00 mL/kg dose to illustrate overall trends. Comparison of fertilization rates among treatments revealed no significant differences for floating eggs ( P = 0.3177) with a mean range of 62.8 37.3 92.3 7.3%. No dif ferences were observed for mean sinking egg fertilization as a 0% fertilization rate was recorded for all trea tments. The highest noted mean percent hatch and 2 DPH survival were both from the 0.25 mL/kg Ovaprim treatment, 79.0 12.9% and 84.0 11.0% res pectively. Ho wever, results of mean percent hatch ( P = 0.5439) and mean 2 DPH survival ( P = 0.1099) analyses were not significant due to considerable va riation in the 0.50 and 1.00 mL/ kg treatments. Statistical analysis of floating egg morphometrics did no t include data from the 2.00 mL/kg treatment as only two replicate spawns were collected. Floating egg diameters from the 0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg doses were found to be significantly ( P <

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88 0.0482) larger than egg diameters from the 1.00 mL/kg Ovaprim dose. An alysis of oil diameter and OD:ED from floating eggs revealed the 0.50 mL/kg dose to be substantially ( P < 0.0001) greater when compared with both the 0.25 and 1.00 mL/kg treatments. Evaluation of %SO showed no effect of hormone dose on any of the treatment s examined regardless of buoyancy (Table 5 3). Interestingly, the largest sinking egg diameters were observed in the lowest and highest Ovaprim doses with no noted differenc es between intermediary doses. Additionally, comparisons of oil globule diameter a nd OD:ED in sinking eggs identified the 2.00 mL/kg dose to have a significantly smaller diameter ( P < 0.0001) and OD:ED ratio ( P < 0.0001) than all other hormone doses in this experiment. Morphometric analyses at 0 DPH revealed calculated mean oil diameter s for the 0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg larvae were significantly larger when compared with oil diameters of larvae from the 1.00 mL/kg treatment ( P = 0.0139 and 0.0151, respectively). Yolk reserves of pigfish larvae in the 0.50 mL/kg were determined to be the lowes t, with yolk volumes in the 0.25 mL/kg ( P = 0.0096) and 1.00 mL/kg ( P < 0.0001) treatments at least 14% larger (Figure 5 2). Notochord length among 0 DPH larvae showed no effect of hormone dose ( P = 0.1657). However, reexamination of NL at 2 DPH indicated increased growth of larvae in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment as their mean 2 DPH NL of 3.188 0.215 mm was significantly larger than larvae from the both the 0.25 mL/kg ( P = 0.0388, 3.059 0.256 mm) and 1.00 mL/kg ( P = 0.0001, 2.968 0.273 mm) treatments (Fig ure 5 2). Regression analysis of spawning frequency at 72 hours ( P = 0.8720), 48 and 72 hours combined ( P = 0.1844) and at egg stripping ( P = 0.8347) did not detect significant differences among any of the hormone doses investigated. Results did indicate

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89 d ifferences in spawning frequency among hormone doses at 48 hours ( P = 0.0742). Female pigfish in the 0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg doses were 14.99 (95% CI: 1.03, 218.27) times more likely to release eggs at 48 hours than females injected with 2.00 mL/kg Ovaprim. Although statistically significant differences were detected among treatments for salinity, pH, and nitrite, observed discrepancies were determined to be biologically insignificant and thus water quality data from the four experimental recirculating system s over the experimental period was pooled. Mean water quality parameters for the Ovaprim dosage experiment were as follows: temperature, 24.24 1.24C; DO, 6.74 0.23 mg/L; pH, 7.72 0.11; salinity, 32.58 0.55 g/L; TAN, 0.06 0.12 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0 566 0.0214 mg/L. Mean water quality parameters for the water bath over the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 22.27 0.26C; DO, 6.82 0.26 mg/L; pH, 7.61 0.16; salinity, 35.27 0.46 g/L; TAN, 0.05 0.11 mg/L; nitrite, 0.0024 0.003 1 mg/L. HCG D ose E valuation Analysis of vitellogenic oocytes collected pri or to HCG injection uncovered significant differences ( P < 0.0001) in calculated diameters among treatments. Mean oocyte diameters from the 500 IU/kg dose were significantly larger ( P < 0.0001) when compared with oocyte diameters from the 1 000, 2 000, and 4 000 IU/kg treatments (Table 5 1). No significant differences were detected among treatments for mean male TL ( P = 0.2048) and weight ( P = 0.1272) with recorded ranges of 180 8 204 25 mm and 83.2 9.5 120.3 40.8 g, respectively. Additionally, no detectable differences were observed among mean female TL ( P = 0.0705) with a recorded range of 215 17 238 9 mm. However, results indicated ( P = 0.0423) female pigfish in th e

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90 4000 IU/kg treatment (187.3 11.2 g) were larger than females in the 2 000 IU/kg treatment (144.0 28.2 g). Post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters were statistically different among HCG treatments ( P < 0.0001) and a mean diameter of 0.417 0.052 mm recorded for the 2 000 IU/kg dose was found to be significantly larger ( P < 0.0005) significant differences among administered HCG doses ( P = 0.3366) but notable decre ases in oocyte diameters were observed for all treatments (Table 1). Furthermore, comparison of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within treatments revealed significant decreases in diameter after administration of 500 IU/kg ( P < 0.0001), 1 000 I U/kg ( P < 0.0001), and 4 000 IU/kg ( P < 0.0001) HCG. Efforts to collect eggs by manual stripping were unsuccessful for all treatments examined. A total of 86 668 eggs were collected during four induced volitional spawning events from two fish over the cou rse of this experiment. Egg production was again standardized for female body weight to eliminate any potential confounding effects of size on observed fecundity. Unfortunately, lack of spawning frequency among all treatments prevented statistical analysis and rendered graphical presentations inappropriate. Descriptive data from collected spawns are presented in Tables 5 2 and 5 3. A single spawning event was observed from the 500 IU/kg HCG dose yielding a total egg production of 47 844 eggs or 264.3 eggs/g body weight. Fertilization was noticeably low for both floating (15%) and si nking (0%) eggs and results of percent hatch (8%) and 2 DPH survival (2%) indicated the spawn to be of inferior quality (Table 5 2). Three successive spawns were also collected fr om a single replicate in the 2 000 IU/kg treatment at 24, 48, and 72 hours post injection. Egg quantity was highly variable

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91 among spawns with a mean of 12941.3 12736.9 eggs produced per event (Table 5 2). Floating eggs comprised 92% of all eggs spawned w ith a mean fertilization of 96 3%. Mea n percent hatch (74 19%) and 2 DPH survival (47 33%) confirmed production of viable larvae could be achieved using a single 2 000 IU/kg dose. Morphometric analyses of eggs collected from the four HCG induced spaw ns appeared to yield uniform results between treatments (Table 5 3). Low fertilization and hatch rates only allowed for morphometric analysis of three 0 DPH larvae from the 500 IU/kg treatment. Accordingly, mean results for NL (1.733 0.230 mm), oil diame ter (0.201 0.008 mm), and yolk volume (0.217 0.025 mm 3 ) may not be an accurate depiction of measured parameters and should be interpreted cautiously. Calculations of mean NL (2.271 0.211 mm), oil diameter (0.181 0.010 mm), and yolk volume (0.216 0.016 mm 3 ) from 0 DPH larvae from the 2 000 IU/kg treatment may be a better representation of collected data, however all three spawns were collected from a single pigfish. Evaluations of NL at 2 DPH from larvae from the 500 IU/kg (3.031 mm) and 2 000 IU/k g (3.000 0.278 mm) were again of little statistical value due to the small sample size. Regression analysis of spawning frequency at 24 hours ( P = 0.8722), 48 hours ( P = 0.8789), and 72 hours ( P = 0.8789) did not detect significant differences among any of the hormone doses investigated. Additionally, evaluatio n of spawning frequency at 24, 48, or 72 hours combined ( P = 0.6447) and at egg stripping ( P = 1.0000) again yielded no differences among HCG treatments. Water quality data from the two experiment al recirculating systems collected over the three trials was pooled and mean water quality parameters for the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 23.68 1.27C; DO, 6.53 0.24 mg/L; pH, 8.09

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92 0.14; salinity, 38.34 1.06 g/L; TAN, 0.01 0 .03 mg/L; and nitrite, 0.0181 0.0060 mg/L. Mean water quality parameters for the water bath over the experimental period were as follows: temperature, 22.44 0.01C; DO, 6.75 0.07 mg/L; pH, 7.93 0.03; salinity, 37.60 0.08 g/L; TAN, 0.00 0.00 mg/ L; and nitrite, 0.0056 0.0063 mg/L. Discussion Results of analyses for pre injection oocyte diameters indicated significant differences among treatments for both the Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments (Table 5 1). Narrow distributions of 0.411 0.058 0.435 0.052 mm for the Ovaprim experiment and 0.420 0.055 0.464 0.063 for the HCG experiment suggest the biological significance of these findings to be minor and are likely the result of high statistical power due to large sample sizes (n = 600). Moreover, homogeneity of ovarian development within a cohort of broodfish with asynchronous oocyte growth is difficult to achieve and mean vitellogenic oocyte diameters used in this experiment were similar to those successfully employed by Mata et al. (20 04) for induced spawning of the Corocoro grunt, Orthopristis ruber. Caution should be used in the evaluation of oocyte diameters post injection as differences among pre injection diameters may negate observed post injection trends. Consequently, while the 2.00 mL/kg Ovaprim treatment had significantly smaller oocytes than all other treatments at pre injection, calculation of post injection diameters revealed oocytes from the 2.00 mL/kg treatment to be significantly larger than all other hormone doses teste d. Differences observed in post injection HCG oocyte diameters mirrored results from the Ovaprim experiment, with oocytes from the 2 000 IU/kg treatment exhibiting statistically larger oocytes than other HCG treatments. Comparisons of calculated in elucidation of differences among treatments. Yet results did indicate a decrease in

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93 post injection oocyte diameters for all the Ovaprim doses examined with the exception of the 2.00 mL/kg treatment. Observed decreases ranged from 2.0 8.3 5.2 12.9% with the 2.00 mL/kg dose exhibiting an increase of 4.6 9.1%. Comparison of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within treatment confirmed the changes in diameters to be significant ( P < 0.0057) (Table 5 1). Trends in reported Ovaprim data can best be explained by the natural spawning modality employed by pigfish coupled with results of induced spawning efforts. As ovarian development is asynchronous in pigfish, it could be theorized that as cohorts of oocyt es progress through FOM and are spawned, the manifesting in larger vitellogenic oocytes. With onl y three recorded spawns among all replicates, it wa treatment was due to failed ovulation and spawning. Conversely, with 21 recorded spawns for the remaining three Ovaprim treatments, it is pr obable that decreases in loss of larger oocytes to spawning. Results of HCG administration did indicate a decrease in post injection oocyte diameters in all of the HCG doses examined with a range of 0.9 3.7 15.3 14.8%. Comparison of pre and post injection vitellogenic oocytes within HCG treatments substantiated all observed decreases in diameter to be significant ( P < 0.0001) excluding the 2 000 IU/kg treatment. Notably the 2 000 IU/kg treatment produced 75% of spawns collected in the HCG experiment; however all spawns were from the same fish. Relationships among doses for collected HCG data we re somewhat unclear and poor spawning performance in all treatments fu rt her

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94 complicated due to spawning success but instead the result of ovarian regression and oocyte atresia. It is likely that chosen doses of HCG were ineffective at FOM and that handlin g stress associated with hormone injection may have contributed to decreased oocyte diameters post injection. A l ess likely cause is ovarian regression due to physiological stress resulting from HCG overdose, although excessive HCG doses have been shown to cause overhydration and egg retention (Tucker, 1998). Collectively, these results confirm the efficacy of the 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00 mL/kg doses of Ovaprim on successful FOM and spawning induction in pigfish. Results from the HCG dose experiment provide no such evidence and call into question the ability of the chosen doses to promote gamete maturation in this species. Successful use of hormones in induced spawning protocols should result in FOM, ovulation, and either volitional release of eggs or manual s tripping. The time period between hormone administration and ovulation is often referred to as the latency period (Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). Variations in environmental parameters, stress, and hormone dose can all impact the duration of the latency period. In fishes which require manual stripping, increased accuracy in estimation of ovulation time generally results in improved egg and larval quality (Chen, 2005; Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). Results of the Ovaprim experiment showed that pigfish volitionally re lease eggs after hormone administration. Nevertheless, accurate knowledge of the latency period should allow for planned allocation of resources and labor to ensure prompt collection and incubation of fertilized eggs. Pigfish in both experiments were allot ted a 72 hour interval to volitionally release any ovulated eggs after which they were manually stripped. No significant

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95 differences were detected in spawning frequency at 72 hours and at 48 and 72 hours combined for any of the Ovaprim doses investigated. Interestingly, the 0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg doses of Ovaprim achieved 100% spawning success and were 14.99 times more likely to release eggs at 48 hours than the highest dose administered (33% spawning success). Decreased 48 hour spawning frequency at the hig hest Ovaprim dose could have resulted from hormone overdose leading to pituitary desensitization. Ensuing decreases in luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion would delay progression of FOM, but further research is needed to support proposed hypotheses. Overal l, spawning frequency with HCG was unreliable and insufficient for use for induced spawning procedures with pigfish. Only four spawns were collected during the entire experimental period, the majority of which came from a single fish. No differences could be detected among doses at any time period examined in this study. These results suggest HCG doses chosen for this study to be ineffective for consistent hormone induction of FOM with pigfish. While ovulation and spawning success are the primary endpoints of hormone induction, careful evaluation of resultant egg quality and quantity will help to identify the most advantageous hormone dose for use with a particular species. Production of large quantities of eggs is unimportant if fertilization and hatching rates are poor This view is echoed by Fitzpatrick et al. (1984), who assert that hormone induction with coho salmon, Onchorhyncus kisutch may reach a point of diminishing returns due to lower fertilization percentages. Additionally, Mylonas and Zohar (20 07) report that excessive hormone doses may result in unfertilizable eggs. These results underscore the need for research into hormone dose and its effect on egg quality and quantity. Differences

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96 among Ovaprim treatments for all measures of egg production were not significantly different (Table 5 2). Mean number of total eggs per spawn ranged from 19 890.3 14 738.0 33 518.7 18 155.4 or 130.7 90.4 211.3 122.4 eggs/g bodyweight. These findings suggest that while Ovaprim dose offered no advantage with respect to batch fecundity, lower doses resulted in increased total fecundity via increased spawning frequency. Interpretation of trends in HCG data was unsuccessful due to absence of spawning activity in most treatments. Egg quality is influenced b y both the intrinsic properties of the egg and by environmental factors to which it is exposed (Brooks et al., 1997). The effect of hormone dose on egg quality in haemulids is poorly characterized. Low mortality at fertilization, hatch, and first feeding a re common attributes signifying exceptional egg quality (Bromage et al., 1992). Altho ugh analysis of fertilization, percent hatch, and 2 DPH survival indicated no significant differences among the three lowest Ovaprim treatments, trends observed in Fi gure 1 suggested a decrease in percent hatch and 2 DPH as hormone dose increased. Sahoo et al. (2005) reported similar trends in Asian catfish, Clarias batrachus with higher doses of Ovaprim (30 mg sGnRHa+15 mg domperidone and 40 mg sGnRHa+20 mg domperidone) resulting in reduced hatch and fertilization at latency periods of 20 23 hours. Results from the HCG experiment did not allow for stati stical analysis yet acceptable percent hatch and 2 DPH survival rates illustrated that a viable spawn could be produce d sporadically using a single injection of 2 000 IU/kg HCG. Generally, floating eggs did not exhibit large deviations in diameter from one Ovaprim dose to the next. Increased diameters observed in sinking eggs from the 2.00

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97 mL/kg dose may have be en the r esult of overhydration but similar results from the 0.2 5 mL/kg treatment indicate d a comparable level of overhydration at a greatly reduced dose. Furthermore, comparison of mean floating and sinking egg diameters within treatments revealed sinking egg dia meters to be at least 3% larger than their floating counterparts. Floating egg oil diameters and OD:ED were highest in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment. As these oil globules are crucial nutritional reserves for pigfish larvae prior to first feeding, it can be hyp othesized that the larger the oil globule the greater the developmental advantage conferred to the larvae. Oddly, this did not hold true as larvae produced from eggs in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment did not differ fro m other Ovaprim treatments in percent hatch or 2 DPH survival s Conversely, reduced oil diameters and OD:ED recorded for sinking eggs in the 2.00 mL/kg treatment may have resulted from rapid progression through FOM due to excess hormone administration. Abbreviated maturation time may have prevented complete coalescence of oil droplets prior to hydration resulting in reduced oil globule size. Approximately 10 20% of floating and sinking eggs contained more than one oil globule with no perceived effect of Ovaprim dose. Historically, multiple oil gl obules within an egg have had a negative connotation. Though recent research has revealed that eggs with multiple oil globules can yield high hatch rates ( Makino et al., 1999) and in the case of the red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus outperform eggs with a single oil globule ( Bourque and Phelps, 2007). Morphometric analyses appeared consistent for eggs collected from successful HCG induced spawns, yet further replication is needed for meaningful interpretation. Morphometric analysis of 0 DPH larvae indic ated oil diameters (0.206 0.085 mm) in the 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim dose to be the highest while larvae from the same

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98 dose were also found to have the lowest yolk volume (0.090 0.020 mm 3 ). Interestingly, evaluation of NL at 2 DPH showed these larvae to be l arger than specimens from both the 0.25 and 1.00 mL/kg treatments. As no differences were detected in 0 DPH NL among treatments, increased growth observed in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment was likely related to the Ovaprim dose although the relationship is uncl ear at this point. These findings further support the 0.50 mL/kg treatment as a preferred dose for production of robust pigfish larvae. Failure of fish to volitionally release ovulated eggs is another reproductive obstacle encountered in species commonly cultured in captivity (Zohar, 1989). Physiological and or environmental deficiencies may both contribute to observed spawning failures. Pigfish in both hormone experiments were manually stripped at the completion of the 72 hour spawning period to check for fish which had ovulated and never spawned or fish which had only par tially spawned. Regression analysis for both Ovaprim and HCG experiments showed no differences among any of the hormone doses tested. Additionally, no differences in mean stripped egg vo lume were detected among any hormone treatment in either experiment. These results while similar, are indicative of two divergent processes. Collectively, observed spawning success and lack of egg retention in the Ovaprim experiment suggests effective and reliable spawning induction with this hormone preparation. Conversely, poor spawning performance and 100% failure of manual stripping in all HCG treatments indicates significant dysfunction in the endocrine signaling cascade which regulates the progressio n of FOM and ovulation.

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99 Results from the current investigation clearly indicate that the four doses of HCG examined were insufficient for reliable spawning induction in pigfish. Further research is needed to evaluate efficacy of larger HCG doses and vari ations in environmental conditions to improve upon the spawning events observed in this study. Consistent spawning and production of high quality eggs and larvae establish ed the 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim treatment as the preferred dose for hormone induced spawni ng of pigfish. Similar results obtained from the 0.25 mL/kg treatment should not completely exclude this dose from consideration in future spawning protocols. However, superior egg and larval characteristics observed in the 0.50 mL/kg treatment impart ed a slight production advantage. Further studies examining the effect s of repeated injections or extended release GnRHa implants on prolonged spawning in this species would be of great value. Diversification of the United States aquaculture industry is vital t o its continued longevity. Pigfish are a strong aquaculture species with consistent demand and established markets, although culture methods continue to be defined. Establishing appropriate hormone doses unique to species of interest is of great importance (Mylonas and Zohar, 2007). Furthermore, r eliable spawning and larval production is critical for the successful commercialization of a species. Results from this study have identified advantageous hormonal doses for use in pigfish spawning protocols and wi ll contribute to the continued growth of this emerging sector of the US aquaculture industry.

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100 Table 5 1. Mean (SD) pre injection oocyte diameter, post injection oocyte diameter, stripped egg volume, and change in mean vitellogenic oocyte diameter P values) of paired t tests comparing pr e injection and post injection vitellogenic oocyte diameters within hormone doses is presented. Hormone Dose Pre injection oocyte diameter (mm) Post injection oocyte diameter (mm) t test ( P ) Stripped egg volume (mL) Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 0.42 6 0.052 b 0.409 0.062 b <0.0001 3.9 2.5 a 0.1 0.2 a 0.50 mL/kg 0.435 0.052 a 0.411 0.065 b <0.0001 5.2 12.9 a 0.0 0.0 a 1.00 mL/kg 0.422 0.054 b 0.412 0.070 b 0.0057 2.0 8.3 a 0.8 1.8 a 2.00 mL/kg 0.411 0.058 c 0.428 0.056 a <0.0001 4.6 9.1 a 0.0 0.0 a HCG 500 IU/kg 0.464 0.063 a 0.393 0.077 b <0.0001 15.3 14.8 a 0.0 0.0 a 1 000 IU/kg 0.428 0.053 bc 0.389 0.077 b <0.0001 9.3 13.5 a 0.0 0.0 a 2 000 IU/kg 0.420 0.055 c 0.417 0.052 a 0.2318 0.9 3.7 a 0.0 0.0 a 4 0 00 IU/kg 0.433 0.052 b 0.399 0.098 b <0.0001 8.4 18.5 a 0.0 0.0 a a Different letters within colum ns and unique to hormone denote statistical significance ( P

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101 Table 5 2. Mean (SD) number of total, floating, and sinking eggs released per s pawn and total, floating, and sinking eggs spawned per gram body weight (BW) for Ovaprim and HCG dose experiments with pigfish. Hormone Dose Total eggs spawned Floating eggs spawned Sinking eggs spawned Total eggs spawned per gram BW Floating eggs spawn ed per gram BW Sinking eggs spawned per gram BW Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 19 890.3 14 738.0 a 14 998.3 16 175.2 a 4 892.0 6 223.8 a 130.7 90.4 a 95.4 98.0 a 35.2 44.6 a 0.50 mL/kg 30 395.3 15 615.7 a 16 933.5 13 251.9 a 13 461.8 16 464.4 a 190.7 92.1 a 106.4 82.9 a 84.3 104.2 a 1.00 mL/kg 33 518.7 18 155.4 a 16 865.3 12 846.7 a 16 653.3 16 497.9 a 211.3 122.4 a 108.9 89.9 a 102.4 106.1 a 2.00 mL/kg 30 593.3 18 614.0 a 21 286.7 18 998.6 a 9 306.7 5 286.4 a 191.4 95.0 a 129.9 113.2 a 61.5 35.9 a HCG 500 IU/kg* 47 844.0 21 264.0 26 580.0 264.3 117.5 146.9 1 000 IU/kg 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2 000 IU/kg* 12 941.3 12 736.9 11 864.7 12 821.7 1 076.7 463.6 94.5 93.0 86.6 93.6 7.9 3.4 4 000 IU/kg 0.0 0.0 0.0 0. 0 0.0 0.0 Individual data values are from a single collected spawn. Values SD are from multiple spawns from a single replicate. a Different letters within colum ns and unique to hormone denote statistical significance ( P Values without letters were not included in statistical analyses.

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102 Table 5 3. Mean (SD) egg diameter, oil diameter, oil diameter : egg diameter ratio, and percentage of eggs with a single oil globule for floating and sinking pigfish eggs collected from Ovaprim and HC G dose experiments. Hormone Dose Floating egg diameter (mm) Floating oil diameter (mm) Floating oil diameter : egg diameter % Floating eggs with single oil globule Sinking egg diameter (mm) Sinking oil diameter (mm) Sinking oil diameter : egg diameter % Si nking eggs with single oil globule Ovaprim 0.25 mL/kg 0.813 0.026 a 0.178 0.014 b 0.22 0.02 b 91.5 9.0 a 0.884 0.046 a 0.190 0.016 a 0.22 0.02 b 89.7 5.6 a 0.50 mL/kg 0.814 0.029 a 0.186 0.013 a 0.23 0.02 a 82.6 18.8 a 0.842 0.0 34 b 0.188 0.014 a 0.22 0.02 a 80.0 16.9 a 1.00 mL/kg 0.806 0.037 b 0.177 0.018 b 0.22 0.02 b 82.8 13.0 a 0.848 0.047 b 0.185 0.018 a 0.22 0.02 ab 89.3 14.1 a 2.00 mL/kg 0.806 0.021 0.181 0.016 0.22 0.02 90.0 14.1 0.890 0.058 a 0.173 0.048 b 0.20 0.06 c 74.7 3.1 a HCG 500 IU/kg* 0.827 0.022 0.192 0.007 0.23 0.01 97.0 0.812 0.035 0.192 0.007 0.24 0.01 97.0 1 000 IU/kg 2 000 IU/kg 0.833 0.019 0.167 0.009 0.20 0.01 89.0 13.9 0.853 0.031 0.166 0.012 0.20 0.02 86.7 6.8 4 000 IU/kg Mean SD in these rows are a result of single spawning event. a Different letters within colum ns and unique to hormone denote statistical significance ( P Values without letters were not included in statistical analyses.

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103 Figure 5 1. Mean floating and sinking egg fertilization, 24 hour percent hatch, and 3 days post hatch (DPH) survival for collected pigfish eggs from the Ovaprim dose evaluation. Different letters among treatments wi thin measured parameters denote statistical significance ( P letters were not included in statistical analyses.

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104 Figure 5 2. Me an 0 days post hatch (DPH) notochord length, oil diameter, and 3 DPH notochord length measured in millimeters (mm) on the primary y axis. Mean 0 DPH yolk volume measure d in mm 3 on the secondary y axis. All morphometric data was collected from pigfish larva e produced dur ing the Ovaprim dose evaluation Different letters among treatments fo r 3 DPH notochord length denote statistical significance ( P letters were not included in statistical analyses.

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105 CHAPTER 6 EFFECT OF STOCKING D ENSITY ON GROWTH, SU RVIVAL, AND STRESS PHYSIOLOGY OF PIGFIS H, O rthopristis chrysoptera Introduction The effect of stocking density on the cultur e of fishes is an important consideration in establishing successful protocols requisite for responsible and profitable production. Overcrowding of the culture environment may result in increased aggression, increased competition for food, elevation in str ess response and disease incidence, and ultimately decreased growth and survival. Stocking densities below optimal levels may yield improved growth rates and ameliorate complications from overcrowding, but may not be an effective use of infrastructure and labor resulting in decreased profitability. Determination of appropriate stocking densities driven by production goals and resource availability is an essential step in the commercialization of a species for aquaculture production. Historically, stocking d ensity studies have focused on food fish species such as Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar (Refst ie and Kittlesen, 1976), chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Mazur and Iwama, 1993), rainbow trout, O. mykiss (Kebus et al.,1992), and tilapia, Oreochromis ur olepis hornorum x O m ossambicus (Watanabe et al. 1990). More recently, studies examining new marine species of interest such as cobia, Rachycentron canadum (Webb et al., 2007), black sea bass, Centropristis striata (Copeland, 2003), and pompano, Trachino tus carolinus (Weirich et al., 2009) have become more prevalent as advances in technology and research have helped to diversify the number of species currently cultured. Recent interest in the culture of marine baitfish has prompted studies by Phelps et al (2010) evaluating effective densities for production of the gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis a popular bait among

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106 anglers in the southeastern United States. Additionally, investigations by Ohs et al. (2010) have elucidated improved stocking densities fo r pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides another marine baitfish with high demand. To date, there are no publications which examine the effect of stocking density on the growth and survival of pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera The pigfish is a grunt in the family H aemulidae, with a range from Massachusetts extending south through the Gulf of Mexico (Sutter and McIlwain, 1987). It is a baitfish prized by anglers in the southeastern United States for both inshore and offshore game fish and wild harvest is the predomin ant method of supplying bait retailers with the quantities they demand. Oesterling et al. (2004) identified pigfish as a species with great potential for commercialization; however, deficiencies in knowledge regarding husbandry and culture methods have hin dered the development of this new aquaculture species. Culture of pigfish in a cont rolled captive environment will enable year round production and allow producers to supplement seasonal shortages in quantities and size classes not readily available from t he wild capture fishery. Consequently, the purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of various stocking densities on growth and survival of pigfish in recirculating aquaculture systems. In addition, plasma cortisol, glucose, chloride, and osmolality were analyzed to better understand the physiological manifestations of the various stocking densities investigated. Methods Small S cale S tocking D ensity E xperiment Wild caught pigfish were obtained from a commercial fisherman and held temporari ly in a 2,536 L flow through seawater system. Fish were assessed for external parasites and treated with 250 mg/L formalin baths (Parasite S, Western Chemical Inc.,

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107 Ferndale, Washington, USA) and administered a 10 day course of oxytetracycline feed (Terram ycin 200, 2.5 g/lb, Phibro Animal Health, Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA) to prevent bacterial infection following capture and handling stress. Formalin baths lasted one hour and were conducted on alternate days for a total of five treatments Following the fif th b ath, a subsample of pinfish was reassessed to ensure treatment efficacy and confirm the health status of fish prior to t ransport to the University of Florida Indian River Re search and Education Center ( IRREC) in Fort Pierce, Florida. The experiment wa s conducted in a single recirculating system consisting of twelve, 85 L glass aquaria inside a greenhouse under ambient photoperiod (14L:10D) and temperature. The system was equipped with a 600 L sump, trickle filter, protein skimmer, ultraviolet sterilize r, and supplemental aeration. Salinity was maintained at 27 g/L by diluting sterilized natural seawater with fresh well water. Aquaria were randomly assigned to one of three experimental densities, 0.1, 0.3, or 0.5 fish/L (0.94, 2.82, or 4.70 kg/m 3 ) with f our replicates per treatment. Pigfish were randomly stocked into aquaria according to predetermined densities. Prior to stocking, standard length (SL), total length (TL) and weight were recorded for each fish. A range of 52 98 mm and 65 102 mm with a m ean ( SD) of 70 7 mm and 86 8 mm was recorded for SL and TL, respectively. Body weight ranged from 3.8 15.2 g with a SL, TL, and weight were not significantly d ifferent ( P = 0.3010, P = 0.6511; P = 0.9714, respectively). A total of 312 pigfish were used for this investigation and cultured under experimental conditions for 65 days.

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108 Subsamples of 20 pigfish from one randomly selected replicate from the 0.3/L and 0 .5/L treatments were individually measured (SL and TL) and weighed weekly. All fish from one randomly selected replicate from the lowest density (0.1/L) were individually weighed and measured at the same interval. Random samples were not taken from the sam e replicated tanks during consecutive weeks. Recorded weights were used to estimate the weekly biomass and calculate feeding rates for all experimental groups. The calculated biomass for each replicate was adjusted to account for observed mortalities throu ghout the course of the experiment. Feeding rates were uniformly adjusted based on direct obse rvations of apparent satiation. Throughout the course of the growth experiment, treatment tanks were fed 4.5 7.5 % of the biomass in each tank daily Pigfish wer e fed a slow sinking 2.0 mm pelleted commercial diet with 50% crude protein and 15% crude fat (Zeigler Bros, Gardners, PA, USA) twice daily. Mortalities and feeding amounts were recorded on a daily basis and mortalities were not replaced. At the conclusion of the experiment, all pigfish from all treatments and replicates were weighed and measured and all fish from each replicate were individually counted to assess survival. Specific growth rate (SGR) was calculated using the following formula: SGR % = 100 x [ln final weight of fish (g) ln initial weight of fish (g)] / trial duration (d), where ln is the natural log. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was calculated using the following formula: FCR = feed intake (g) / body weight gain (g). Coefficients of variatio n (CV) were calculated using the formula: CV = standard deviation / mean. Large S cale S tocking D ensity E xperiment Wild caught pigfish were again collected by commercial fishermen from the Indian River Lagoon and quarantined according to the procedures pre viously mentioned for the

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109 small scale stocking density experiment. Fish were subsequently transported to IRREC for further experimentation. Prior to stocking, a subsample of 7% of the experimental population was weighed and measured for SL and TL to establ ish mean values for the entire population. A range of 36 63 mm and 45 80 mm with a mean of 47 7 mm and 58 9 mm was recorded for SL and TL, respectively. Body weight ranged from 0.8 5.6 g with a mean of 1.9 1.1 g for all pigfish stocked. Pigfish were stocked into two 4 400 L recirculating systems, with each system comprised of eight 350 L conical bottom tanks, a 1 600 L sump, bead filter, foam fractionator, and UV sterilizer. Systems were maintained at 35 g/L salinity and ambient photoperiod (13L :11D) and temperature as these systems were located in a greenhouse. Four stocking densities, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 fish/L (0.10, 0.19, 0.38, and 0.76 kg/m 3 ), were investigated with each treatment replicated three times. Mortalities were replaced for the first 8 d ays of the experiment to control for potential bias in subsequent survival estimates due to mortalities resulting from initial handling and transport. Throughout the course of the 50 d ay growth experiment, treatment tanks were fed 5 10% of the biomass in each tank daily, divided in two equal feedings. Growth (SL, TL, and weight) was assessed on days 29, 36, and 43 of the experiment by sampling 10% of the fish in each tank and feeding rates were adjusted to compensate for observed growth and mor talities. A final sampling was conducted on day 50 of the experiment with all fish removed from the tank to assess survival, growth, SGR, and FCR. Additionally, whole blood was collected from 13.9 100.0% of pigfish in each replicate for analysis of plas ma osmolality, chloride, cortisol, and glucose. Fish selected

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110 peduncle was rinsed with deionized water, blotted dry and promptly severed. Blood was collected from the s evered caudal vessels in sterile microcentrifuge tubes and the collection time never exceeded 3 minutes to prevent changes in blood chemistry due to acute stress response (Barton, 2002). Blood collection was conducted without prior anesthetic to prevent al teration of hematological indices of interest (Iwama et al., 1989; Zahl et al., 2010). Whole blood was centrifuged for 7 minutes at 4,000 rpm (2,415 g) after which plasma was collected and pooled as needed to achieve required volumes for physiological anal ysis. Low survival in some treatment groups and limited blood volumes and plasma yields prevented the collection of three independent plasma samples from each of the three replicates in every treatment. Sample sizes for blood analyses are noted in Table 6 1. Plasma was frozen at 80C until further analysis. Chloride concentration was determined utilizing a digital chloridometer (Labconco, osmolality was analyzed using a Wescor 552 0 vapor pressure osmometer (Wescor Inc., Logan, UT, USA). Plasma cortisol concentrations were determined by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (BioQuant Inc. # BQ078S, San Diego, California ,USA ) as validated for use in fish by Sink et al. (2008). Plasma glucose concentrations were determined using the glucose oxidase/peroxidase colorimetric method (Sigma Aldrich #GAGO20 1KT, St. Louis, Missouri USA ) as in Woodward and Strange (1987). All assays were conducted according to directions. Water Quality Dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, temperature, and pH were determined daily using a YSI 556 multiparameter meter (YSI Inc., Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA) during both

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111 experiments. Total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and nitrite were evaluated once weekly usin g a Hach DR 4000 spectrophotometer (Hach Company, Loveland, Colorado, USA). Recirculating systems were supplemented with fresh well water as needed to replace water loss due to evaporation. Statistics All data were analyzed using the PROC GLM function of SAS version 9.3 (SAS as noted below. Limitations in available data from the small scale stocking density experiment necessitated analysis of calculated CV with a two tai test. All percentage data was arcsine square root transformed prior to analysis. All numerical data are represented as the mean SD. A P 0.05 was considered statistically significant for all analyses. Results Small S cale S tocking D ensity No significant differences among treatments were detected for mean SL ( P = 0.3524), mean TL ( P = 0.4449), mean weight ( P = 0.3744), mean SGR ( P = 0 .2871), and mean FCR ( P = 0.1495) for pigfish at the culmination of the small scale stocking density experiment (Table 6 2, Figure 6 1). Survival of a single pigfish in two replicates from the 0.1 fish/L treatment precluded the calculation of a standard de viation and thus remaining two 0.1 fish/L replicates are illustrated in Table 6 3. No significant differences P = 0.8548), TL ( P = 0.7786), a nd weight ( P = 0.4130) were observed between the 0.3 and 0.5 fish/L treatments (Table 6 3). Mean 65 d ay survival was 22.2 15.7, 30.8 17.5, and 58.1 23.5% for the 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 fish/L

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112 treatments, respectively (Figure 6 2). Mean water quality param eters recorded over the 65 d ay experimental period were: temperature, 31.2 1.1 C; DO, 5.97 0.55 mg/L; pH, 7.96 0.18; salinity, 26.4 2.4 g/L; TAN, 0.20 0.24 mg/L; and nitrite, 0.8400 0.3100 mg/L. Large S cale S tocking D ensity No significant diff erences among treatments were detected for mean weight ( P = 0.2828) and mean SGR ( P = 0.7816) for pigfish at the culmination of the large scale stocking density experiment (Table 6 4). However, significant differences in SL ( P = 0.0338) and TL ( P = 0.0240) were observed in the omnibus ANOVA (Table 6 4). Due to SD test and protection against T ype I experimentwise error, no significant pairwise comparisons were observed for all SL and TL post hoc analyses. Significant d ifferences in FCR ( P P 0.0088), TL ( P < 0.0001), and weight ( P 0.10, 0.20, and 0.40 fish/L treatments (Table 6 3 Table 6 4). Mean 50 d ay survival was 14.8 6.4, 31.4 2.9, 37.6 11.6, and 41.9 9.3% for the 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 fish/L treatments, respectively (Figure 6 3). Observed growth trends for the 50 d ay experimental period are illustrated in Figure 6 4. Statistical analyse s of mean plasma chloride ( P = 0.7655), cortiso l ( P = 0.5966), and glucose ( P = 0.4071) failed to elucidate significant differences among treatment groups regardless of parameter. Conversely, significant differences in plasma osmolality ( P 0.05 and 0.20 and the 0.05 and 0.40 fish/L treatments. No significant differences were observed in any of the water quality parameters monitored between the two recirculating systems used in this experiment and thus val ues were pooled and mean experimental water quality values were as noted: temperature, 32.3 1.4 C; DO, 5.45

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113 0.31 mg/L; pH, 7.67 0.41; salinity, 35.2 1.5 g/L; TAN, 0.14 0.14 mg/L; and nitrite, 0.4471 0.2877 mg/L. Discussion Results of the small scale stocking density experiment indicated no significant differences among any of the treatment densities for all of the growth parameters investigated. Observations for mean SL, TL and weight at the conclusion of the experiment suggest 0.5 fish/L to be an acceptable minimum stocking density. Interestingly, in the large scale stocking density experiment while no significant differences were observed among treatments for mean weight, significant differences were noted for both mean SL and TL. However, due to the conservative nature of the post hoc analyses used, subsequent pairwise comparisons failed to elucidate significant findings between treatment densities. Calcu lated values for SL and TL implied a slight growth advantage for the 0.05 fish/L treatment when compared with other treatment densities, possibly resulting from the decreased survival and thus decreased competition for resources within the tank (Table 6 4). Additionally, these data also indicate that future experiments examining the effect of s tocking density on pigfish growth should focus on density levels greater than those investigated in this experiment. Webb et al. (2007) reported no significant differences in survival or percent weight gain among treatment densities for juvenile cobia cul tured in recirculating aquaculture systems over a ten week period. Evidence of density independent growth under experimental conditions has also been reported by Copeland et al. (2003) in black sea bass, by Rowland et al. (2006) in silver perch, Bidyanus b idyanus and by Watanabe et al. (1990) in tilapia. Findings from these investigations closely mirror results from this

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114 environment. Furthermore, similarity of growth rates irres pecti ve of stocking density suggests investigation of higher sto cking densities is warranted. Comparison of pigfish stocking densities with those of the spotted grunter, Pomadasys commersonnii (Bacela, 1998), reveal a density independent trend for calculat ed lengths, weights, and SGR for both haemulids. In contrast, a significant both the large scale pigfish stocking density and spotted grunter stocking density experiments (Bacela, 1998). Studies by Ohs et al. (2010) have also illustrated a similar trend in FCR with culture of pinfish in recirculating aquaculture systems, while investigations by Phelps et al. (2010) into the culture of the gulf killifish in ponds showed no difference among densities with respect to FCR. Intraspecific aggression in a culture setting can result in a myriad of undesirable outcomes, most notably decreased growth and survival. Pigfish in the lowest treatment densities in both the small and large scale stocking density experiments exhi bited increased aggression towards conspecifics, potentially resulting in the significant difference in survival depicted in Figure 6 3. Higher stocking densities may help to reduce the negative impacts associated with this behavior and it is recommended t hat future studies examine stocking densities exceeding those employed in this experiment as aggression and decreased survival was still noted in even the highest of treatment densities investigated. This study represents the first published investigation into the effects of various stocking densities on captive pigfish. Although no significant differences were detected for SGR in either of the experiments, the collected growth data still provides valuable

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115 information crucial to establishing reliable produc tion protocols. Specific growth rate estimates ranged from 2.02 0.31 4.38 0.59% for both experiments, indicating acceptable growth rates for this new aquaculture species. Furthermore, pigfish sold by Florida retailers are generally grouped into four size classes predicated on length: small, 2.5 5.1 cm; medium, 5.1 10.2 cm; large, 10.2 15.2 cm; and extra large >15.2 cm. size class and pigfish in the large scale experiment were stocked at the lower threshold of the same size class. Pigfish in the small scale experiment needed just 31 d ays of category (Figure 6 1). Moreover, pigfish i n the large scale experiment exhibited a 76% increase in mean TL over the 50 d ay growth period, placing these fish at the lower 6 4). This growth information may help producers to modify culture protocols to produce and market desired size classes of fish when seasonal shortages in the wild capture fishery occur. fish/L treatment and the remaining experimental treatments for the large scale stocking density experiment help to substantiate the use of higher stocking densities in pigfish d inefficient resource utilization and a suboptimal e 0.05 fish/L treatment seem ed to suggest homogeneity in population growth but these values we re most attributable to low survival in this treatment and thus decreased variability in measured growth parameters. Conversely, observations by Watanabe et al. ( 1990) on tilapia and Rowlan d et al. (2006) on silver perch, indicate increased homogeneity of

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116 measured growth parameters at increased stocking densi ties, with CV ranges of 18 26 % and 16 ish weights were much higher and ranged from 11 46%, suggesting the presence of social hierarchies and variable growth rates among dominant and subordinate fishes (Brett, 1979). Efforts to delineate differences in primary and secondary stress responses a mong treatments in the large scale stocking density experiment were largely unsuccessful. Variability in cortisol and glucose responses within treatment groups obfuscated subsequent analyses (Table 6 1). Experiments by Robertson et al. (1987) with red drum Sciaenops ocellatus have shown no significant differences in plasma glucose regardless of stocking density. Of greater interest is the transient density dependent rise in plasma cortisol, observed to return to basal levels after 48 d ays in culture. It i s possible that the relative homogeneity of cortisol values reported for pigfish may be an adaptation of the corticosteroid response to prolonged exposure to stressors in the culture environment. Unfortunately, basal levels of corticosteroids and glucose f or pigfish are unknown at this time and thus interpretation of cortisol and glucose absolute values would be premature. Analysis of hydromineral regulation as a stress indicator revealed plasma chloride levels to be relatively consistent among treatment gr oups. Plasma osmolality in the 0.05 fish/L treatment was significantly higher than all other stocking densities, indicating a reduction in hydromineral regulation likely resulting from an exogenous stressor. While this result may seem counterintuitive, int raspecific aggression in cultured pigfish appears to have an inverse relationship with stocking density. Reduction of aggressive behavior and thus stress in the culture environment

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117 should ameliorate observed physiological manifestations and help to improve tertiary stress response variables of interest to aquaculture producers; most notably growth and survival. Results fro m this experiment have answer ed critical questions necessary for the successful production of this novel aquaculture species. Hematologi cal parameters analyzed in this study represent the first investigation into the underlying stress strong candidate for marine baitfish aquaculture in the southeastern United States. Further studies which evaluate higher stocking densities may help to define optimal culture conditions resulting in decreased aggression and increased growth, survival, and profitability.

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118 Table 6 1. Mean (SD) plasma osmolality, chloride, c ortisol, and glucose from the pigfish large scale stocking density experiment. Stocking density (fish/L) N Mean plasma osmolality (mmol/kg) Mean plasma chloride (mmol/L) Mean plasma cortisol (ng/mL) Mean plasma glucose (mg/dL) 0.05 3 400 34 a 149.3 10. 1 a 29.73 5.72 a 43.05 9.86 a 0.10 8 375 16 a,b 148.2 6.1 a 39.74 13.23 a 63.95 17.31 a 0.20 9 370 12 b 148.7 8.0 a 38.48 6.90 a 68.20 22.09 a 0.40 9 368 8 b 145.6 6.0 a 35.04 15.53 a 70.18 32.84 a a different letters within columns den ote statistically significant differences ( P ) Table 6 2. Mean (SD) standard length, total length, weight, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio from the pigfish small scale stocking density experiment. Stocking density (fish/L) Mean standard length (mm) Mean total length (mm) Mean weight (g) Mean specific growth rate (%) Mean feed conversion ratio 0.1 111 11 a 130 13 a 37.9 11.8 a 2.02 0.31 a 5.3 2.4 a 0.3 111 9 a 130 11 a 40.0 10.6 a 2.29 0.19 a 5.2 2.8 a 0.5 108 10 a 127 12 a 36.7 11.5 a 2.12 0.14 a 2.0 1.9 a a differen t letters within columns denote statistically significant differences ( P 0.05 )

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119 Table 6 3. Mean coefficients of variation (SD) for standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish from the small scale and large scale stocking density experiments. Treatment N Standard length coefficient of variation Total length coeffi cient of variation Weight coefficient of variation Small scale 0.1 Fish/L 2 0.10 0.01* 0.11 0.01* 0.31 0.06* Small scale 0.3 Fish/L 4 0.11 0.06 1 0.11 0.06 1 0.27 0.09 1 Small scale 0.5 Fish/L 4 0.10 0.03 1 0.10 0.03 1 0.33 0.10 1 Large sca le 0.05 Fish/L 3 0.05 0.02 a 0.04 0.02 a 0.11 0.07 a Large scale 0.10 Fish/L 3 0.11 0.02 b 0.11 0.01 b 0.34 0.04 b Large scale 0.20 Fish/L 3 0.13 0.01 b 0.13 0.01 b 0.42 0.04 b Large scale 0.40 Fish/L 3 0.15 0.01 b 0.13 0.01 b 0.46 0.02 b Values were not included in statistical analyses due to insufficient sample size Differen t numbers within columns denote statistical significance (t test, P Differen t letters within columns denote statistical significance P 0.05). Table 6 4. Mean (SD) standard length, total length, weight, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio from the pigfish large scale stocking density experiment. Stocking density (fish/L) Mean standard length (mm)* Mean total length (mm)* Mean weight (g) Mean specific growth rate (%) Mean feed conversion ratio 0.05 90 7 109 8 16.8 4.8 a 4.38 0.59 a 5.9 1.7 a 0.10 87 10 102 11 15.6 5.3 a 4.20 0.20 a 2.6 0.1 b 0.20 81 12 96 14 13.7 6.6 a 4.03 0.55 a 2.7 0.1 b 0.40 84 13 99 13 15.2 7.0 a 4.13 0.18 a 2.6 0.6 b Denotes significant differences among all treatment groups within a column as calculated by the omnibus ANOVA a differen t letters within columns denote statistically significant difference ( P 0.05 )

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120 Figure 6 1. Mean standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish over the 65 day small scale stocking density experiment.

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121 Figure 6 2. Mean survival through 65 d ays for pigfish from the small scale stocking density experiment (85 L ). Different letters denote significant differences P transformed prior to analysis. Data are presented as the mean SD and untransformed for ease of interpretation. Figure 6 3. Mea n survival through 50 d ays for pigfish from the large scale stocking density experiment (350 L). Different letters denote significant differences P transformed prior to analysis. Data are presented as the mean SD and untransformed for ease of interpretation.

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122 Figure 6 4. Mean standard length, total length, and weight for pigfish over the 50 day large scale stocking density experiment.

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123 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Development of the m arine baitfish aquaculture industry in the United States is a logical and potentially lucrative endeavor. Identification of high value species with broad geographic appeal is important to the progression of this new industry. Detailed protocols describing captive spawning, larval culture, and growout procedures for species of interest need to be established before commercial production ensues. Experimental results from this study have helped to fill significant gaps in the culture methodology of both pinfis h, Lagodon rhomboides and pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera Previous efforts at volitional spawning of pinfish and pigfish have been largely unsuccessful and have contributed little to the development of standardized culture procedures. Furthermore, la ck of information regarding larval culture conditions, feeding regimes, and expected survival and growth in a captive setting is a significant impediment to intensive culture of both species. Results from pinfish spawning and larval rearing experiments sho wed a single dose of 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim (sGnRHa) to be effective for induced volitional spawning with an observed fecundity of 2,565 eggs/female (13.1 eggs/g). Larval survival ranged from 10 117% through 33 days post hatch (DPH). Pinfish larvae were obs erved to have completed swim bladder inflat ion by 19 DPH, with 100% of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by the same date. Additionally, a successful feeding regime using rotifers, Brachionus plicatilis Artemia and a microparticulate diet was establish ed. Given proper environmental conditions, repeated volitional spawns in captive pigfish were achieved. A fecundity of 1,147,149 eggs/female (2,959 eggs/g body weight) was calculated based on 58 recorded

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124 spawning events and l arval survival ranged from 6.5 100.0% through 25 DPH. Pigfish larvae were observed to initiate swim bladder infla tion by 9 DPH, with 100% of larvae exhibiting notochord flexion by 19 DPH. An effective feeding regime was again established which incorporated nauplii of the copepod Pseud odiaptomus pelagicus rotifers, and Artemia These studies represent the first reports of induced volitional spawning of pinfish and repeated captive volitional spawning of pigfish. Described larval rearing methods have proven to be effective at culturing pinfish and pigfish larvae through metamorphosis. Future research which refines weaning periods and minimizes use of live feeds is justified for both species. Establishing effective hormone doses is essential for development of reliable spawning protocol s and production of high quality eggs and larvae. Investigations were carried out to determine the effect of various doses of Ovaprim and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) on spawning induction and egg and larval quality in pinfish. Doses of 0.25 or 0.50 mL/kg Ovaprim were efficient at induction of final oocyte maturation and spawning. Superior fecundity, fertilization and 3 DPH survival rates, as well as larger 3 DPH larvae support lower Ovaprim doses as the preferred choice for use with pinfish. Conve rsely, the 4000 IU/kg HCG dose performed the best of all HCG doses evaluated eliciting the greatest spawning frequency from female pinfish. Similar experiments with pigfish showed the low dose (0.25 and 0.50 mL/kg) Ovaprim treatments resulted in better s pawning performance. However, superior egg and larval characteristics validate the 0.50 mL/kg dose as the preferred choice for use with pigfish. The four doses of HCG administered to pigfish performed unreliably. Thus no dose recommendation could be made f or HCG use in this species. Future

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125 experiments which investigate repeated hormone injections or use of sustained release GnRHa implants are warranted as both species exhibit asynchronous ovarian development. Additionally, assessment of manual stripping and artificial fertilization would help to ascertain if this procedure is a viable alternative to induced volitional spawns. Results from hormone dosage experiments will help producers to refine production protocols for these two val uable marine baitfish spec ies. Furthermore, increased reliability in spawning performance and synchronization of spawning events will allow for efficient allocation of labor resources and increased profit potential for the producer. owth and survival in a captive culture setting is an important factor to be considered when implementing com mercial production protocols. A variation in stocking densities may be purposely used to augment growth rates to achieve desired outcomes and knowle dge of projected survivals at given densities is crucial to ensure proper stocking to meet production goals. Similar trends in growth and survival were observed for all pigfish densities tested. Specific growth rate estimates ranged from 2.02 0.31 4.38 0.59% during both studies. Increased intraspecific aggression was noted at lower stocking densities and may have contributed to decreased survival and increased feed conversion ratios. Efforts to delineate differences in primary and secondary stress res ponses among treatments were largely unsuccessful. However, densities up to 0.5 fish/L (4.70 kg/m 3 ) appear conducive for pigfish culture. Further research which examines higher stocking densities than those investigated i n this study is needed. Increased stocking densities may reduce noted aggression and result in improved growth and survival. Results from

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126 this research have provided reliable estimates of growth, survival, and feed conversion for pigfish grown at studied densities. Moreo ver, results of physiological analyses represent the first published data on stress physiology in pigfish. Findings from experimental trials will provide producers with practical recommendations for minimum pigfish stocking densities. The culmination of t hese studies defines critical culture methods requisite for the commercial production of these two valuable marine baitfish species. Results described throughout these investigations will serve as a solid foundation upon which to build commercial productio n protocols. Pinfish and pigfish are two species with great potential for aquaculture production and marketing in the southeastern United States. Continued efforts to refine culture methods for these and other candidate marine baitfish species will aid in the growth of this fledgling industry and contribute to the resilience and longevity of aquaculture in the United States.

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127 REFERENCES Adams, C. M., A. M. Lazur, P. Zajicek, and D. Zimet. 1998. An assessment of the market for live marine baitfish in Flori da. Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 32 p. Avila, E. M., and J. V. Juario. 1987. Yolk and oil globule utilization and developmental morphology of the digestive tract epithelium in larval rabbitfis h, Siganus guttatus (Bloch). Aquaculture 65: 319 331. Bacela, N. 1998. Studies on the captive rearing of spotted grunter, Pommadasys commersonni (Pisces:Haemulidae) under ambient conditions. M.S. Thesis. Rhodes University. Grahamstown, South Africa. 113 p. Barbaro, A., A. Francescon, G. Bozzato, A. Merlin, P. Belvedere, and L. Colombo. 1997. Induction of spawning in gilthead seabream, Sparus aur a ta L., by a long acting GnRH agonist and its effects on egg quality and daily timing of spawning. Aquaculture 154: 349 359. Barton, B. A. 2002. Stress in fishes: a diversity of responses with particular reference to changes in circulating corticosteroids. Integrative and Comparative Biology 42:571 525. Berlinsky, D. L., K. V. William, R. G. Hodson, and C. V. Sullivan. 1997. Hormone induced spawning of summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 28:79 86. Berlinsky, D. L., W. King V, and T. I. J. Smith. 2005. The use of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue for ovulation induc tion in black sea bass ( Centropristis striata ). Aquaculture 250:813 822. Bourque, B. D. and R. P. Phelps. 2007. Induced spawning and egg quality evaluation of red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 38 :208 217. Brett, J R. 1979. Environmental factors in growth. Pages 599 675 in W.S. Hoar, D.J. Randall and J.R. Brett, editors. Fish Physiology, vol. VIII. Academic Press, New York. Bromage, N. R., J. Jones, C. Randall, M. Thrush, B. Davies, J. Springate, J. Duston, and G. Barker. 1992. Broodstock management, fecundity, egg quality and the timing of egg production in the rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ). Aquaculture 100:141 166. Brooks, S., C. R. Tyler, and J. P. Sumpter 1997. Egg quality in fish: what makes a good egg? R eviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 7:387 416.

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134 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Matth ew A. DiM aggio was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Staten Island, NY, shortly after. Summers were spent on Block Island, RI, where Matthew developed a passion for the ocean. He attended the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in biology and a minor in environmental sciences. The next three years were spent working at the University of Rochester / Strong Memorial Hospital, investigating various urological cancers while concomitantly developing the fundamental re search skills necessary for his further educational aspirations. Matthew Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida. He graduated with his Master s of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in August 2008 Matthew was awarded a fellowship to continue on with his aquaculture research and complete d his Ph.D. in August 2012.