2011/733 Vaccination of Yellowtail Kingfish
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2011/733 Vaccination of Yellowtail Kingfish

By Stewart Fielder

In Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture in South Australia, juveniles are cultured in land-based hatcheries before being stocked into floating sea cages for on-growing to market size. The transition from the relatively controlled environmental conditions of the hatchery to the ambient conditions of the sea cages can be stressful to newly-stocked fish and, coupled with exposure to pathogens, can result in the onset of disease and consequent mortality of fish.

YTK of two size classes were tested with a vaccine to determine if it had any deleterious effects on juvenile YTK. The vaccine did not affect survival, nor did it affect growth in the long-term, food consumption nor the development of lesions, and an antibody response was elicited. Vaccination of YTK before transfer to sea cages therefore seems a viable option.

Outcomes can be used directly by Clean Seas Tuna in their YTK farming practices. Suggestions for future development are put forward.