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Trop Life Sci Res. 2013 Dec;24(2):77-84.

A Case Study on the Mortality of Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) Cultured in Traditional Cages.

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National Fish Health Research Centre, Fisheries Research Institute, 11960 Batu Maung, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.


in English, Malay

The mass mortality of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) within 2-3 days was reported by 3 private farms in Bukit Tambun, Pulau Pinang, in February and March 2007. Only cobia with body weights of 3-4 kg were affected. Most diseased cobia swam on the surface and displayed flashing behaviour. All samples were positive for viral nervous necrosis (VNN) with low to medium levels of infection. Infestations by leeches (Zeylanicobdella arugamensis), body monogeneans (Benedenia sp.) and copepods (Caligus sp.) were also found, but no pathogenic bacteria were isolated. All water quality parameters monitored were within optimal ranges for culturing cobia. The main causes of high mortality in cobia remain unclear during the study. However, we believe that the mass mortality of cobia could be probably due to VNN infection and that the rate of mortality will increase further when cobia are subjected to aquaculture-related stresses (e.g., limited space). Traditional cages with a size of 2 (length) × 2 (width) × 1 m (depth) should only be used for rearing cobia below 1 kg in weight given the species' natural behaviours. In addition, cobia fingerlings should be screened for VNN prior to stocking them in cages.


Cobia; Ectoparasite; Rachycentron canadum; Viral Nervous Necrosis (VNN)


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