Shell marking by artificial feeding of the tropical abalone Haliotis asinina Linne juveniles for sea ranching and stock enhancement
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A method of marking abalone (Haliotis asinina Linne) for sea ranching and stock enhancement purposes was developed. Three-month-old abalone juveniles (11.8-mm shell length, 0.28 g) were fed artificial diets for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. The width of the bluish-green shell band produced by abalone juveniles was 1.7, 2.6, and 4.2 mm after 1, 2, or 3 weeks of feeding respectively. The growth and survival of juveniles fed artificial diets did not differ from that of juveniles fed the seaweed Gracilariopsis bailinae (control). Feeding the diet-fed juveniles with the seaweed thereafter produced the natural brownish shell, thus forming a sandwiched bluish-green band. An experimental release in outdoor tanks with natural growth of seaweeds and diatoms, and in a marine reserve showed that the shell band remained clear and distinct, indicating the usefulness of this shell marking method in sea ranching and stock enhancement of abalone.