Treatment of halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) eggs and larvae using putative probions isolated from the production system
The aim of the project as a whole is to improve the survival and quality of halibut larvae in starter feeding and use environmentally friendly methods where eggs and larvae are treated with a new mixture of additive bacteria that have been isolated from the halibut breeding environment. There will be great losses in the first stages of halibut farming and therefore it is important to create an optimal environment during these first and most sensitive stages of farming. The use of supplemental bacteria is one way of doing this, but supplementary bacteria can in various ways have a positive effect on their host, such as preventing unwanted bacteria from gaining a foothold in its digestive tract, stimulating the immune response and improving the balance in its digestive tract. Three separate experiments were carried out in the fish farm of Fiskey hf. where it was treated with a mixture of additive bacteria at different stages of the culture. The effect of the treatment was assessed in terms of the performance and quality of the eggs and larvae, but the composition of the bacterial flora of the farm was also examined. Supplementary bacteria were added to the breeding environment of eggs, but larvae were treated through the feed animals. The main results suggest that treatment with a new mixture of additive bacteria can affect the composition of the bacterial flora of eggs, larvae and their feed animals, but that treatment needs to be done more frequently than was done in the study if long-term effects are to be maintained. Repeated treatment at the egg stage seemed to reduce the incidence of defective peritoneal larvae, in addition to which treatment from the beginning of the initial feeding seemed to have a positive effect on the larval performance at the end of the initial feeding.
Poor survival of larvae during the first feeding phases calls for measures to create optimal environmental conditions during the first and most sensitive phases of the larval production. The overall aim of the project was to promote increased survival and quality of halibut larvae, using putative probionts isolated from halibut production units. Probiotic bacteria can affect their host in various ways, eg by preventing the attachment of unfavorable bacteria, stimulating the immune system and promoting increased stability in the gastrointestinal tract. In this project three separate experiments were carried out at a commercial halibut farm, Fiskey Ltd. in Iceland. Different treatment schedules were used for treatment of eggs from fertilization and larvae throughout first feeding. A mixture of equal concentration of three selected strains was added to the tank water environment of eggs or through grazing of the live feed. The effects of treatment were evaluated with respect to the overall success of eggs and larvae as well as with respect to chances in the bacterial community structure. The results indicate that treatment may affect the bacterial community of eggs, larvae and live feed but more frequent treatments seem to be needed than examined in the present study. Repeated treatment of eggs resulted in reduced incidence of jaw deformation (gaping) amongst yolk sac larvae and treatment from the onset of exogenous feeding resulted in improved survival of larvae compared to sibling tank units.