Coping with cold waters

Penguins are fast, graceful swimmers of the extremely cold arctic waters. Their bodies are adapted to the harsh climatic conditions. Unlike penguins, sea bream is not thriving in cold waters. In fact, during winter, Mediterranean waters can take a heavy toll on sea bream growing in sea cages. At low temperatures, we do witness very low, or even negative, growth rates with weight loss, reduced feed intake and limited capacity of the fish to cover their oxygen needs (systemic hypoxia). Moreover, the “winter syndrome” might turn up, meaning that the internal functions on the fish can get severely compromised.

These effects are particularly serious for the larger sea bream, going through their second winter. On top of the cold, these fish will also go through maturation, which can lead to a loss of 10-20 % of total biomass after spawning.

These are the main points that need to be taken into account when developing a winter feed for sea bream.

In this context of great challenges, BioMar developed INTRO Qardio M and EFICO Qardio M, targeting to help fish maintaining growth and good condition during the winter period by strengthening them from the very core. This way, they get better prepared for the following fast growth period when temperature recovers.

BioMar’s Qardio M feed range combines the latest R&D results through optimized formulation using extra vitamins, specific ingredients and potent micro-ingredients. Qardio M feeds contribute to supporting a good immune function and helps to protect and strengthen the heart and the cardiovascular system of the fish, which can help them to better cope with their limited internal capacity for oxygen uptake during cold temperatures, thus contributing to maintain growth and a better fish condition. Moreover, the formulation of the Qardio M range contributes to lower fat storage in viscera, which is particularly important for sea bream.

In order to maximize performance parameters and improve the health status of the fish, BioMar recommends preparing the fish for the winter 3-4 weeks before the low temperature period, feeding the functional feed EFICO Plus 405, switch to INTRO and EFICO Qardio M when temperature drops to 16 oC or below and keep using it during the cold period. When temperature starts to recover, it is recommended to return to EFICO Plus 405 for 3-4 weeks and then switch to a higher energy commercial diet for the period of fast growth (late spring and summer).

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