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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 11:481-491 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00329

Effect of diet on growth, survival and fatty acid profile of marine amphipods: implications for utilisation as a feed ingredient for sustainable aquaculture

Hilke Alberts-Hubatsch1,*, Matthew James Slater1, Jan Beermann1,2

1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Rapidly expanding fed aquaculture demands high-quality, sustainable nutrient sources for utilisation as dietary ingredients. Exploring the potential of under-utilised resources from other industries is imperative to replace finite natural resources, such as fish meal. Marine gammarids may be an excellent source of essential fatty acids; however, their aquaculture using formulated diets remains untested in terms of survival, growth and nutritional value of the cultured product. Here, juveniles of 2 marine gammarid species, Gammarus locusta and Echinogammarus marinus, were maintained in controlled feeding experiments with 2 marine diets (Ulva spp. and Fucus spp.) and 2 terrestrial diets (lupin meal and carrot leaves). G. locusta exhibited higher survival rates, particularly when fed carrot leaves, an agricultural waste product. Fatty acid profiles of the resulting G. locusta product appear well suited for marine finfish nutrition, indicating high suitability of G. locusta as an aquaculture diet source. In contrast, whilst E. marinus may provide beneficial fatty acid profiles for aquatic animal nutrition, its poor growth performance in this study indicates that further dietary/culture research is required for this species. Our results indicate, for the first time, that marine gammarids are capable of trophic upgrading and can use non-marine diets for healthy growth in culture, but their suitability as a formulated feed ingredient for specific fish or crustacean species needs to be investigated individually. Future research should include the development of optimal large-scale production as well as investigation of optimal methods of inclusion of gammarids as feed ingredient for target aquaculture species.


KEY WORDS: Essential fatty acid · Nutrition · Trophic upgrading · Terrestrial feeds · Gammarids


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Cite this article as: Alberts-Hubatsch H, Slater MJ, Beermann J (2019) Effect of diet on growth, survival and fatty acid profile of marine amphipods: implications for utilisation as a feed ingredient for sustainable aquaculture. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:481-491. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00329

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