Strongylocentrotus intermedius is a widespread sea urchin species in Asian waters and experiences a large seasonal variation in temperature. It is essential to understand how temperature affects utilization of nutrients and production. Large (5 cm test diameter) S. intermedius were maintained in the laboratory and fed a formulated feed from 28 February when the gonads were small (gonad index, GI, ∼10) and sea water temperature was low (7°C) until 27 June when sea water temperature was high (24°C) under five temperature treatments (environmental temperature, 7, 12, 17 and 22°C. Temperature had little effect on rate of consumption of food or absorption efficiency and little effect on assimilation efficiency except for a significant decrease at 22°C. The gonad index was consistently least at 22°C. Organic matter production in the gonads was greatest and earliest (April) at 12 and 17°C. Strongylocentrotus intermedius acclimated to temperature <22°C during the season of gonad production. These data indicate temperature should not be a great concern in land aquaculture. Under the conditions of this experiment, S. intermedius in culture produced gonads of marketable size (gonad index >15) within one month.
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Vol. 28 • No. 2