Volume 58

Biotechnology of the Culture of Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) to Marketable Size in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Padilla, C., D. Martínez, M. Riero, R. Fanjul, P. Cedena
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Date: November, 2005

Pages: 508-509

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Eighth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres

Country: Colombia


The queen conch Strombus gigas is one of the main fishing industries in the Mexican Caribean. Mariculture has been proposed as an alternative source of this mollusk, due to the serious decline in this resource due to fishing. The Regional Center for Fisheries Research of the National Fisheries Institute based in Puerto Morelos is undertaking a research project with the intention of implementing and perfecting culturing techniques of the different stages of the life cycle of the conch, from larval development to the breeding of juveniles. The project consists of three stages, from small-scale experimental cultures to the application of these techniques to large-scale cultures as well as the transfer of this technology. The culturing processes begin with the production of embryos in which there is a 99% hatching efficiency. The culturing of larvae has been attempted at different scales to determine the efficiency of different culturing systems. The efficiency of inductors and initial diet have been examined as factors in affecting metamorphosis. Micro-algal cultures have been established for the feeding of larvae and post-larvae. At the juvenile stage, experiments were undertaken to test the effect of artificial diets and substrate type, and there is a design in hand for a Pilot Production Unit (PPU) for the fattening up of juveniles in the sea. The goal is to train a group of fisherman to use the PPU, with the intention of evaluating its efficiency and viability. The results obtained to date in this project suggest the need to perfect some aspects of the technique for mass production of larvae in order to be a viable activity. However, the growth of juveniles in underwater systems in the sea may be a viable strategy for the exploitation of this resource.

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