Elevated mortality, triggered by increased water temperatures (>22°C) and associated factors, is a significant issue for land-based abalone farms in southern Australia. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of the commercial animal feed product Orego-Stim (OS), containing oregano essential oil in reducing the mortality of 3-y-old greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata) exposed to high water temperature (25°C). Inclusion levels of 0.0 (commercial control diet), 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 4.0% OS were added into a commercial feed formulation and diets were fed to 3-y-old greenlip abalone (67.98 g, 77.01 mm shell length) at two water temperatures (22°C and 25°C) for 47 days. Survival and immune parameters including phagocytic activity, total hemocyte count (THC), and activities of the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured. Survival was high at 22°C with no significant differences in mortality between treatments. Irrespective of this, exposure to elevated water temperature (25°C) resulted in significantly higher mortalities for all diet treatments (P < 0.05), without any effect of diet. Low ferric reducing antioxidant potential values were observed for all diets. Phagocytic activity remained stable for all temperature and OS treatments (48.82% ± 1.31%). The dietary inclusion of OS and increased water temperature increased the THC compared with the commercial control diet treatment at 22°C. Superoxide dismutase was significantly elevated in greenlip abalone fed the commercial control (0.56 ± 0.08 U mL-1), and CAT was significantly higher when fed the 4.0% OS diet treatment at 25°C (18.93 ± 2.25 nmol min-1 mL-1). Despite failing to increase survival, OS significantly enhanced feed intake at both temperatures at 2.0% and 4.0% compared with the commercial control diet treatment, highlighting its ability as a feeding stimulant (P < 0.05).
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