Photoperiod regulation of sexual maturation in haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)
The haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is considered to be a potential alternative species for temperate marine aquaculture. However, early rearing trials identified that in culture haddock would sexually mature and spawn at two years of age at a size below what would be considered a suitable harvest weight. Therefore, this current work examined the use of continuous illumination (LL) to inhibit puberty and hence improve growth potential. The results demonstrated that application of LL in enclosed tank systems completely inhibited sexual maturation at two years of age and that in response growth was improved by approximately 50%. This work demonstrates that growth potential can be significantly enhanced by photoperiod suppression of puberty, which will be vital for the profitable farming of the species.