Date of Award

Summer 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Anthony J. Provenzano, Jr.

Committee Member

William M. Dunstan

Committee Member

David L. Feigenbaum

Committee Member

John R. McConaugha


The growth potential of the commercially important marine finfish, black sea bass (Centropristis striata), was examined for aquaculture under controlled conditions. The effect of food and body weight on growth was evaluated using juveniles and young black sea bass cultured with a natural diet and a commercial diet at various feeding levels.

Growth was affected by type of food, food consumption rate, and fish body weight. For fish having positive weight gain, absolute growth rate (gram/day) increased exponentially as food consumption rate (percent of body weight per day) and/or body weight increased. Instantaneous growth rate (percent of body weight per day) of the fish also increased exponentially as food consumption rate increased but decreased as body weight increased. The starved fish also showed the same pattern in weight loss: absolute weight loss (gram/day) increased exponentially and instantaneous weight loss (percent of body weight per day) decreased exponentially as body weight of the fish increased.

The natural diet, which had a lower caloric value than the commercial diet, was significantly inferior to the commercial diet in terms of growth rate produced and food conversion efficiency.

Two generalized equations were formulated to predict instantaneous and absolute growth rates for fish fed the commercial diet in relation to body weight and food consumption rate.

Cultured black sea bass were not significantly different from the natural population in weight-length ratio according to relative condition index and a weight-length relationship.

Total energy consumption (cal/day) for standard metabolism of the individual fish increased exponentially with body weight but energy consumed per unit body weight decreased exponentially as body weight increased. Energy consumption for maintenance in relation to body weight showed the same pattern.

The energetics of the black sea bass related to maximum food consumption rate were estimated using the experimental results and reference values in the literatures.

Overall results show that cultured black sea bass can grow four to five times faster than natural populations and that the species is a good candidate for aquaculture.


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