Enzyme activity in the Nile perch gut: Implications to Nile perch culture


Namulawa VT, Kato CD, Rutaisire J, Britz PJ, Beukes N, Pletschke BI, Whiteley C

Nile perch (Lates niloticus) is a high-value freshwater fish of great social economic importance in Africa’s great lakes region. High demand for this fish has caused its extensive harvest, resulting into a decline in the species stocks and consequently financial loss to the Nile perch industry. Several strategies have been suggested to reinstate the fish population, including the domestication of Nile perch, however, this will greatly depend on the ability of this fish to digest artificial diets, since these diets greatly determine the survival of fish in aquaculture systems. In this study gut enzymes were assayed using standard procedures. Results indicated presence of amylase and trypsin, which is an indicator that carbohydrates and proteins have to be included in the artificial diets that will be formulated for this species. The study further revealed a variation in enzyme activity in the juvenile stages of this fish, indicating that the most critical stage in the nutrition of the Nile perch is the juvenile stage. This variation reveals insights in the requirement for different diets formulations for the different juvenile developmental stages of Nile perch. These findings make Nile perch a potential aquaculture candidate, since carbohydrates and proteins contribute substantively to artificial diets in cultured fish.


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