Copepod technology is a key technology for production of many marine fish larvae of high value. Copepods is the natural diet to these fish larvae, including larvae/fry og Tuna, Kingfish and groupers, and even som of them can be produce without copepods, then only with copepods the optimal quality in the form of fast growth performance, resistence to deseases and uniform growth within the batch can be obtained.
Bent urup was the first to develop a large scale concept for copepod production, which made the foundation of Maximus A/S. Now again in the ownership of Bent Urup.
Copepods is a group of small crustaceans.
They are divided in three subdivisions: Habacticoide copepods, Cycloide copepods and Calanoide copepods.
The cyclopoide and the calanoide copepods are pelagic, whereas the habacticoide copepods are benthic, except for the naupli stagiest.
Calanoide and cyclopoide, are the most important prey organisms for marine fish larvae.
But unfortunately they can also be responsible for transferring many diseases to the fish.
The sea lice, is a cycloid copepod.
At Maximus the copepods are cultured in such a way that parasites and diseases will not develop.
Picture of cultured copepod
Copepod culture tank at Maximus
Artemia is an alternative feed to copepods, but not a natural feed to the larvae, and very poor on the critical fatty acids, especially DHA. But easy to culture and handle.
Rotifers is another substitute to Copepods, better than Artemia, but to small in size to cover the requirement as the larvae grow.