Growth and survival of the South African scallop Pecten sulcicostatus in suspended culture
AbstractGrow-out studies of the scallop Pecten sulcicostatus, endemic to the South African coast, contribute to an investigation of the suitability of this species for commercial culture. Hatchery-reared juvenile scallops were placed in a suspended culture system at 5 m depth in Saldanha Bay on the west coast of South Africa. Scallops of 78 days old and ranging in size from 4.5 mm to 11.0 mm shell height (mean 6.9 mm), as measured on 2 February 2010, were deployed in Saldanha Bay on 9 February 2010. Subsequent growth was assessed monthly through increments in shell height in relation to changing environmental conditions as determined through continuous measures of temperature and chlorophyll a. Upon termination of the experiment on 15 February 2011, scallops ranged in size from 42.1 mm to 48.7 mm (mean 45.1 mm), representing an increment in shell height of 38.2 mm over one year. The mean growth rate of 0.10 mm day–1 (mean specific growth rate of 0.0046 day–1) compares favourably with other commercially cultured species and exceeds previous estimates of growth of naturally occurring populations of P. sulcicostatus. Scallop growth was poorly correlated with either temperature or chlorophyll a concentration, but scallop mortality was closely aligned to the temperature regime of Saldanha Bay, exhibiting high mortalities during mid-summer.
Keywords: environmental conditions, growth rate, mortality, Saldanha Bay
African Journal of Marine Science 2012, 34(2): 181–186