Closing the lifecycle for the sustainable aquaculture of the bath sponge Coscinoderma matthewsi
Abdul Wahab, MA, de Nys, R & Whalan, SW 2012, 'Closing the lifecycle for the sustainable aquaculture of the bath sponge Coscinoderma matthewsi', Aquaculture, vol. 324-325, pp. 281-289.
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Aquaculture of the bath sponge Coscinoderma matthewsi relies on collection of seed stock from the wild. This study investigated the potential of larval culture as a sustainable source of seed stock by quantifying reproduction, larval metamorphosis, and juvenile survival and growth of C. matthewsi. The accuracy of using surface area (2-dimensional) measurements as a proxy for juvenile growth was also assessed against volumetric (3-dimensional) data. Coscinoderma matthewsi is gonochoric and releases parenchymellae larvae over several weeks, corresponding with increasing sea surface temperatures, over the Austral summer (26.6 °C in November and 29.1 °C in January). Sexual maturity is size dependent and smaller individuals (1267.78 cm3 ± 405.66) were non-reproductive. There were no size differences between males and females and both sexes occur in equal proportions. Male reproductive output (ROI) (4.33% ± 0.75) was higher than females (1.62% ± 0.15). Larval metamorphic success was 98.0% ± 2 after 72 h post-release. Juvenile survival over seven months was independent of settlement density and ranged between 18% and 30%. Using surface area underestimated growth of juvenile sponges by approximately half in comparison to volume estimates. This study demonstrates larval culture as a sustainable source of seed stock to support large scale aquaculture operations.