Functional feminization of the Mexican snook (Centropomus poeyi) using 17β-estradiol in the diet
Vidal-López, Juan Manuel
Contreras-Sánchez, Wilfrido M.
Contreras-García, María de Jesús
Uribe-Aranzábal, María del Carmen
The Mexican snook, Centropomus poeyi, supports an important fishery in southeastern Mexico. Due to its protandrous hermaphroditism, females may be especially sensitive to overfishing because they tend to be larger and selective removal has the potential to negatively affect natural populations, thus making urgent the need to contribute on management strategies for the species. The objective of this study was to produce batches of reproductive females at an early age and a small size by using 17β-estradiol (E2) in the diet. In two separate experiments, we fed fish 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 mg of 17β-estradiol per kg of food for 60 days during gonadal differentiation. Fish fed with 50 and 60 mg of E2 per kg of food resulted in 100% feminization, while the control group (0 mg of E2) was 100% male. Three years after feminization, sex-reversed fish remained female, producing oocytes and were capable of spawning, while fish in the control group were ripe males with running milt. E2-treated groups were significantly larger (weight and length) than the control groups for up to six months after treatment, but the difference was undetectable at 300 days post-treatment. Survival was high in all treatments (100%). We obtained high percentages of functional females using dosages of 50 and 60 mg kg-1 of E2 for 60 days, with 80% of the induced fish spawning and producing fertilized eggs and larvae. The results obtained in this study provide opportunities for broodstock management and sex manipulation.