The nutritional value of Artemia sp. as food for marine fish and crustacean larvae has been linked to the level of its polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content. Experiments in August 1984 were conducted to determine the effects of various artificial diets and algae on fatty acid composition of PUFA-deficient Artemia sp. (Utah GSL strain) and their resulting value as food for postlarvae of the prawn Penaeus monodon (Fabricius). Nauplii of the brine shrimp were grown on extracts of corn, copra, soybean and rice bran containing precursors (C18) to long-chain PUFA and also on algal species containing different levels of long-chain PUFA (C20). The nauplii were then used as food for P. monodon postlarvae. The results revealed that absence of C20 polyunsaturates from the feeds and their presence in the algae were reflected in the polyunsaturated fatty acid content of the tissues of Artemia sp. When fed with brine shrimp fed on algae, P. monodon displayed better postlarval survival and significantly higher growth; related to the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in Artemia sp. A practical feeding approach in prawn hatcheries would be to grow Artemia sp. on a cheap diet such as rice bran, and then to enhance its nutritional value with a diet high in PUFA prior to harvesting, in order to improve hatchery production
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