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Sandfish and snubnose pompano co-culture in Vietnam works

March 25, 2024  By Ruby Gonzalez

Co-culture of sandfish with snubnose pompano not only provides bioremediation but also contributes to better performance indicators in both species. The co-culture environment creates system productivity and profitability benefits, the authors said in a study conducted in Vietnam.

“The feasibility of sandfish co-culture with pompano based on results generated during this study is high, with positive species compatibility,” Mai Nhu Thuy et. al said in the study, “Integrated aquaculture of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) with snubnose pompano (Trachinotus blochii) for increased production and nutrient recycling”, published on Aquaculture Reports.

High weight gain and fast growth rate were observed in both species. Sandfish successfully bioremediated pompano waste and cleaned sediment.  

The first experiment, conducted in concrete tanks, established the ideal stock density for co-culture. Results were applied on the proceeding experiment, which evaluated growth and survival performance in a commercial-scale, earth pond-based growout.


Pompano weight gain average on co-culture treatments was almost 12 per cent higher compared to monoculture. At pompano: sandfish stocking densities of 1:0.5 and 1:1, sandfish registered 11.6 per cent more weight gain compared to the group at 1:1.5.

The pond-based culture experiment proved the feasibility of co-culture within a commercial context, with higher yields and growth rate over the duration of the eight-month culture period, and accompanying improvements in sediment quality parameters.

This study was carried out at the National Centre for Marine Breeding, located in Van Ninh, Khánh Hòa Province, Vietnam.

“Determining the ability of sandfish to utilise organic matter in pompano culture ponds is an important step towards improving integrated culture methods for these species and understanding the capacity of sandfish as bioremediators within culture systems,” the authors cited. 

A confluence of favourable factors make pompano a “lucrative mariculture option”. Increasing production volume, however, may have high environmental repercussions. The fish has requirements for large volumes of high protein feeds, which cause nutrient pollution. Co-culture with sandfish, which has proven its effectiveness in nutrient cycling, may give such an expansion a push in the right direction

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