In the framework of echinoid cultivation, whose objective is to succeed in continuously producing large amounts of edible sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus) under controlled conditions (aquaculture), gonadal growth is to be optimized. Among the various parameters influencing the production of roe, the quantity of food distributed was tested for optimization. After a 1-month fast, echinoids were fed artificial food pellets (enriched in soybean and fish proteins) for different periods of time over 48 h, the food thus being available ad libitum for 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, and 48 h; the cycles were repeated for a month. The results show that the quantity of food intake and the gonad index peak after about 35 h of food availability. This suggests food should be distributed discontinuously for optimal gonad production and minimal waste.
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