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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 10:187-200 (2018)  -  DOI:

Growth of wild and domesticated Atlantic cod Gadus morhua reared under semi-commercial conditions

Håkon Otterå1,*, Mikko Heino1,2, Anne Grete Eide Sørvik1, Terje Svåsand1, Ørjan Karlsen3, Anders Thorsen1, Kevin A. Glover1,2

1Institute of Marine Research, 5817 Bergen, Norway
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway
3Institute of Marine Research, Austevoll Research Station, 5392 Storebø, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Genetic interactions between farmed escapees and wild fish represent a challenge to environmentally sustainable aquaculture. Breeding programs for Atlantic cod Gadus morhua have been initiated; however, the genetic response to selection, and therefore the degree of domestication, has not been evaluated. We compared growth of 2 wild and 2 partly domesticated strains that had been under selection for 2 generations. Offspring of 54 synchronously produced families were reared in 2 common-garden experiments, each consisting of Phase I: parallel rearing in mesocosms and tanks 0-8 mo post-hatch, and Phase II: rearing in tanks or sea-cages 8-18 and 8-34 mo post-hatch, respectively. One of the domesticated strains displayed significantly higher growth compared to the wild Northeast Arctic cod population (48-67% higher weight), while the other domesticated strain had a similar growth rate to the Northeast Arctic cod population. The wild population from southern Norway displayed a significantly higher growth rate compared to the wild Northeast Arctic cod population. These results represent the first experimental estimation of domestication-driven changes in farmed cod, and demonstrate that the first breeding programs for this species have been partially successful, resulting in improved growth rates of cod in 2 generations.

KEY WORDS: Aquaculture · Microsatellite · Heritability · Escapees

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Cite this article as: Otterå H, Heino M, Sørvik AGE, Svåsand T, Karlsen Ø, Thorsen A, Glover KA (2018) Growth of wild and domesticated Atlantic cod Gadus morhua reared under semi-commercial conditions. Aquacult Environ Interact 10:187-200.

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