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The success of any farming operation for fish and shellfish depends upon the availability of a ready supply of larvae or ‘seed’ for on-growing to market size. However, for many fish and shellfish species (i.e. carps, marine finfish, crustaceans, bivalves etc.) this has only been possible in recent years through the development and use of a succession of live food organisms as feed for the developing larvae. The aim of the present manual was therefore to review and summarise the latest developments concerning the production and use of the major live food organisms currently employed in larviculture worldwide.

This document has been prepared within the framework of the aquaculture nutrition and feed development activities of Dr. A.G.J. Tacon, Fishery Resources Officer, Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service, FAO Fishery Resources Division, to help meet the needs of aquaculture workers of Member Countries for the synthesis of information in the field of aquaculture nutrition.

The editors would like to thank James de Caluwe, Rudi Bijnens, Magda Vanhooren and March Verschraeghen for their assistance with the layout of the manual.

Lavens, P; Sorgeloos, P. (eds.)
Manual on the production and use of live food for aquaculture
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 361. Rome, FAO. 1996. 295p.


The cultivation of fish and shellfish larvae under controlled hatchery conditions requires not only the development of specific culture techniques, but in most cases also the production and use of live food organisms as feed for the developing larvae. The present manual describes the major production techniques currently employed for the cultivation of the major types of live food commonly used in larviculture, as well as their application potential in terms of their nutritional and physical properties and feeding methods. The manual is divided into different sections according to the major groups of live food organisms used in aquaculture, namely micro-algae, rotifers, Artemia, natural zooplankton, and copepods, nematodes and trochophores.


Directors of Fisheries and Aquaculture
FAO Regional Fishery Commissions and Working Groups on Aquaculture
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Regional Fisheries Officers
FAO Aquaculture Projects
FAO Representatives

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