Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Anthony Siccardi

Committee Member 1

Heather Joesting

Committee Member 2

Johanne Lewis


Demand for seafood has continued to increase despite a stagnation in global wild-caught fisheries. Aquaculture has met this demand but suffers from numerous sustainability issues because of dependence on fish meal, which is unsustainable, sparking nutritional research into alternatives. Hemp seed meal has shown promise as an alternative due to its sustainable production and nutritional qualities. This study evaluated hemp seed meal as an alternative to fish meal through growth and digestibility trials with Morone saxatilis. A seven-week growth trial was conducted within a recirculating aquaculture system using a total of two control diets (commercial and constructed) and six hemp seed meal diets (5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50%). Each diet was randomly assigned to four tanks containing four fish. No significant difference was found within final weight (p = 0.270), weight gain (p = 0.515), thermal growth coefficient (p = 0.461), liver mass (p = 0.960), fat mass (p = 0.508), muscle mass (p = 0.269), intraperitoneal fat ratio (p = 0.281), and muscle ratio (p = 0.147) across the diets. Condition factor (p = 0.004) and hepatosomatic index (p = 0.005) were significant, but all treatments performed well based on condition factor and higher inclusion levels did not indicate larger liver trend found within the 10% treatment. Apparent protein digestibility of menhaden fish meal (85.47%) was comparable to hemp seed meal (81.42%). These findings indicate that in striped bass diets, up to 50% replacement of fish meal with hemp seed meal is possible without affecting growth or digestibility.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material