Fish Nutrition and Feeding
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A major factor currently limiting expansion of aquaculture in Texas as well as other parts of the United States is the high cost of production related to expensive prepared feeds and the lack of adequate disease control measures. As such, more effective means of managing disease without the use of chemotherapeutics will be pursued in this project by evaluating various diet additives. In recent years it has become increasingly evident that manipulations of diet composition and feeding regimes can have significant effects on fish health and disease resistance, especially by altering the microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, some natural diet additives will be evaluated with the goal of enhancing disease resistance and reducing fish mortality, therby reducing production costs. Additionally, refined diet formulations with alternative feed ingredients that may reduce the cost of feeding and enhance production efficiency also will be evaluated.