Pinna, Marco Giuseppe (2016) The Edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816): a valuable resource for fisheries and aquaculture purposes in Sardinia (Central-western Mediterranean). Doctoral Thesis.
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In this study, several research approaches were used to increase the knowledge on the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Morphometric characters and gonad indexes of sea urchin populations were monitored during one year to examine possible differences among seasons in 3 locations of Alghero Bay (NW Sardinia).
Moreover, 2 experiments to test somatic growth, and gonad and alimentary indexes of laboratory-reared specimens fed an artificial diet were also carried out. The experiments lasted 16 and 10 weeks in Scotland and in Sardinia, respectively. In the latter, proximate composition and acidic profile of the sea urchins gonads were also assessed. Samples from natural populations were used as a control. Significant differences between reared and wild specimens were found, both regarding proximate composition (except for total lipids) and fatty acid profile. The results obtained confirm the effectiveness of the diet and rearing method used in enhancing sea urchins’ growth.
Finally, an economical analysis on profitability and sustainability of P. lividus fisheries in Sardinia was performed. Firms operating with different harvesting methods were analysed, obtaining an overview of the current situation in terms of strengths and weaknesses of restrictions on the harvesting of this species. This information can be used by policy makers to implement important changes to the current fishing policy, by guaranteeing profitability for fishermen and conservation of wild stocks.
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