Indoor and deep sub-tidal intermediate culture of Trochus niloticus for restocking

Roger G. Dolorosa, Alastair Grant, Jennifer A. Gill, Arlene L. Avillanosa, Benjamin J. Gonzales

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The high demand for shells of the large reef-associated gastropod Trochus niloticus in the manufacture of mother-of-pearl buttons has resulted in a widespread decline of its population. As a consequence, juvenile mass production and restocking has been practiced as one of the many conservation measures. Trochus has long been successfully bred in captivity, but culturing of juveniles until ready for release is faced with many problems, including the shortage of natural food. Terrestrial plants have traditionally been used by fishermen as food in keeping wild trochus juveniles, but their potential use in intermediate culture of trochus has not been evaluated. We conducted four growth trials for 60–120 days, rearing hatchery-produced juveniles (10–28-mm shell diameter) at different stocking densities in indoor tanks and sea cages, with coconut leaves as the main or an additional substrate. An average growth rate of 4.4 mm mo−1 (95% CL 4.0–4.7 mm mo−1) for all stocking densities was achieved in growth trials using small cages deployed at 5–6 m on the reef slope, which was comparable to growth rates in the wild. This growth rate was three times higher than in trials using large metal cages on the reef slope, and 2 to 23 times higher than indoor trials using wooden tanks or small cages in concrete tanks. Survival rates were as high as 99%. Incidence of escape in sub-tidal cages was low except when some cages were damaged by strong waves. The results indicate that trochus juveniles can be successfully cultured at high density in sub-tidal cages with coconut leaves as substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-423
Number of pages10
JournalReviews in Fisheries Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2013


  • cage culture
  • indoor tanks
  • growth rate
  • stocking density
  • survival
  • Trochus niloticus

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