Partial replacement of red crab (Pleuroncodes planipes) meal for fish meal in practical diets for the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Effects on growth and in vivo digestibility
ABSTRACT The nutritional value of red crab (Pleuroncodes planipes) meal (RCM) as a protein source and partial replacement for fish meal in diets for juvenile Litopenaeus vannamei was evaluated. Fish meal in the control diet was replaced by increasing dietary levels of red crab meal (5%, 10% and 15%), replacing 12.7%, 25.3% and 38.0%, respectively, of the protein derived from fish meal. A 30-day feeding trial with juvenile shrimp (0.26 g mean initial weight) was conducted and digestibility of the diets was also determined. Survival of shrimp in all treatments ranged from 98% to 100% and growth was significantly higher for shrimp fed diets that contained 15% RCM (P < 0.05). Feed conversion and protein efficiency ratios were better when compared to the control diet. Protein digestibility values for all RCM dietary treatments (83%, 84% and 84%, respectively) were significantly higher than that of the control diet (80%). Digestibility of lipids ranged from 79% for the control diet to 84% for the 15% red crab meal diet, while carbohydrate digestibility values decreased as the level of red crab meal increased. Apparent digestible energy was significantly higher in diets containing RCM. These results indicate that red crab meal used in this study serves as a suitable partial replacement for tuna by-product meal, and can improve growth, feed conversion and protein efficiency of L. vannamei juveniles.