The effect of combining shading and continuous lighting on the suppression of sexual maturation in outdoor-reared Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua

M. Cowan, A. Davie, H. Migaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Sexual maturation of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, is a major problem during commercial on growing as fish divert energy away from growth into gonadal development. While the photoperiod regimes that inhibit maturation are well described, when manipulations are applied in a commercial cage setting, using standard lighting technology, maturation is not completely inhibited. This has led to the hypothesis that the enhanced light sensitivity of cod allows it to perceive ambient illumination over the artificial lighting. A 13month trial was conducted to determine the effectiveness of net shading ambient photoperiod in addition to constant lighting to suppress maturation of cod in outdoor conditions. By reducing the relative difference between day and night light intensities, it was hypothesised that maturation in cod could be inhibited as fish could not perceive, and thus use the 'ambient daylength' signal to entrain their reproductive cycle. Two outdoor tanks were covered in either a low density (70% reduction in ambient illumination) or a high density (90% reduction in ambient illumination) shade netting and then illuminated continuously by cathode lighting. These were compared to two indoor tanks in which ambient light was excluded and instead they were illuminated by similar lighting running either under a simulated natural photoperiod or continuous illumination. The work demonstrated that the shade netting could improve the relative performance of the artificial lighting outdoors from
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
Early online date26 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2011



  • Atlantic cod
  • Growth
  • Light
  • Maturation
  • Sex steroids
  • Shading

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