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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

    AEI prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00417

    Comparative growth, feeding and reproduction of hatchery-reared and wild mandarin fish Siniperca chuatsi in a shallow Yangtze lake, China

    Wei Li, Mingli Lin, Shaowen Ye, Jiashou Liu, Rodolphe E. Gozlan, Zhongjie Li, Tanglin Zhang*

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Stocking of hatchery-reared fish in natural shallow lakes is a common practice in Chinese fisheries. The key success of these fisheries depends on the balance between the commercial value of the stock and the growth performance of stocked fish to grow rapidly to a commercial size. The mandarin fish Siniperca chuatsi has become a commercially important fishery in China. However, the performance of hatchery-reared mandarin fish (HMF) after release into natural environments and their interactions with wild mandarin fish (WMF) have received little attention. In this study, we compared the growth, feeding and reproduction of HMF with WMF in a shallow Yangtze lake. We found that 11 mo after release, the growth of HMF was significantly slower than that of WMF but rapidly caught up after 16 to 19 mo. This suggests that HMF may experience compensatory growth after 11 mo, which may be a result of a low reproductive investment when compared to WMF. In addition, the trophic niche of HMF differed significantly from that of WMF, with a lower diversity of prey and single dominant prey species. Furthermore, there was no significant diet overlap between HMF and WMF. Our findings demonstrated that the growth performance of HMF can equal or exceeded that of wild conspecifics and that there was limited diet overlap with WMF, suggesting that the current stock enhancement programmes of releasing HMF can result in fish similar to that of WMF, with limited foraging competition.