Culture of octopus (Octopus vulgaris, Cuvier): present knowledge, problems and perspectives.
This article reviews the results obtained over a four year period of research (1995-1999) at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in Vigo, on the reproduction, rearing of paralarvae and ongrowing of octopus. Optimum conditions for transport, stocking, feeding and spawning induction with temperatures of 13 to 20°C are analysed, with salinity levels of 32 to 35%. The biometric characteristics of the strings and eggs, fecundity, embryonic development, hatching and the rearing of 1.5 million paralarvae are also noted, with a description of feeding, growth and survival of the newly born paralarvae, using different types of prey: reared zooplankton (Artemia salina), fish eggs, wild zooplankton (copepods, cirripedia, mysidacea and euphausiacea), and zoeae of commercial crustaceans (crab, swimming crab and prawn) obtained from ovulated females. There is discussion of the best conditions required for ongrowing juveniles, regarding feed, daily ingestion, stocking density and prior separation according to size and sex, attempting to optimize growth rates and feed conversion. Finally, some of the first experiences on ongrowing at industrial level in Galicia in floating cages are described.