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Comparative performance of wild juvenile mud crab (Scylla serrata) in different culture systems in East Africa: effect of shelter, crab size and stocking density
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Kenya Marine & Fisheries Res Inst KMFRI, Mombasa, Kenya.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1556-096X
Gothenburg Univ.
2015 (English)In: Aquaculture International, ISSN 0967-6120, E-ISSN 1573-143X, Vol. 23, no 1, 155-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Grow-out culture of mud crabs Scylla serrata in East Africa is at an earlier development phase and is dependent on wild seed crabs. We assessed three different culture systems (net cages, ponds and pens) in three treatments (shelter, size and density) to evaluate survival and growth in small-scale culture of mud crabs in Kenya. In small nursery cages, we assessed how availability of shelter, stocking density and size-class separation affected cannibalistic rates in small juveniles (20-80 mm internal carapace width) in 7-day experiments. The result indicated that shelter and size-class separation decreased cannibalism and mortality with 26 and 31 %, respectively, whereas no significant effect was found for different stocking densities. Earthen ponds and mangrove pens were used to compare growth and survival in long-term studies (2-4 months) in the presence and absence of shelter. Treatments with and without shelter yielded low overall recovery of crabs (4-26 %) indicating high mortality rates, and there was no significant effect of shelter or culture system on survival. In contrast, growth rate was high in both pens and ponds, but significantly lower in pen systems without shelter. Generally, the results indicated that cannibalism is the largest source of mortality in different culture systems (net cages, ponds and pens), and use of shelter and size grading of crabs improved survival significantly. In contrast, growth rates were high and comparable to natural growth in both pond and pen culture when shelter was provided. Using growth models to compare growth and survival in mud crabs from aquaculture studies in the literature, we show that shelter may have a stronger effect on growth than has been previously thought, whereas crab density appears to impact more on crab survival. Thus, improving survival in grow-out culture systems is a challenge that remains to be solved for small-scale mud crab culture in East Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 23, no 1, 155-173 p.
Keyword [en]
Mud crab, Net cages, Ponds, Pens, Shelter, Density, Survival, Growth
National Category
Fish and Aquacultural Science Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40896DOI: 10.1007/s10499-014-9805-3ISI: 000348538200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-40896DiVA: diva2:795899
Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-17 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Mirera, David Oersted
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Citation style
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