Plain Language Summary
This study is the first to report that a probiotics-based diet improved the immune system of juvenile New Zealand black-footed abalone. Based on the observation of total haemocyte count, cell growth and death rate, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), it was evident that the abalones fed with probiotics developed stronger immunity. Metabolic profiling also revealed improved growth and survival rates of the probiotics-fed abalones. These findings are intended to strengthen future development and application of probiotics in aquaculture of, not only New Zealand black-footed abalone, but also other shellfish.
Haliotis iris (H. iris), commonly known as New Zealand black-footed abalone, is a type of shellfish that contributes to the aquaculture sector in New Zealand. Although past studies have reported optimal nutritional and environmental parameters for the growth of juvenile H. iris, disease outbreaks caused by pathogenic bacteria and viruses continue to threaten this farmed shellfish industry. The administration of antibiotics only serves as a short-term treatment, which also poses safety concerns in terms of antibiotic-resistant infection as well as undesirable environmental impacts. Therefore, as a follow up of the research group’s previous findings, the application of probiotics in the dietary plan was introduced as a more environmentally friendly and effective solution in this study.
The SDG Impact
Haliotis iris (H. iris) is one of the largest blackfoot abalones, and it is found only in New Zealand water. The flesh of this shellfish is a delicacy in New Zealand, France, East Asia, and parts of Latin America, thus, creating a demand for it in the aquaculture sector. The huge capital needed to sustain these shellfish farms is mostly due to its vulnerability to diseases caused by bacteria or viruses. In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water, this study provides scientific evidence to maintaining the population of the abalone as well as improving the restoration process of the stock by improving its immunity and growth rate.