Polychaetes, generally are marine annelid worms that have gained popularity owing to their use as baits both for recreational and professional fishing purposes. In addition, it can also contribute to aquaculture diversification. Though polychaete culture has been feasible and commercially attempted too, managing polychaete fisheries has progressed only in few countries around the world. Those countries with no marine polychaetes production either depend upon wild harvest or imports. An in-depth study is needed to provide a better understanding of the nutritional requirements and reproduction of some species. Nevertheless, new technical improvements that can lead to significant progress in productivity and give fresh momentum to the polychaete production have been demonstrated. Amongst the marine worm species, a few were recognized as good candidates for integrated multitrophic aquaculture.  Within this aspect, the development of rearing techniques and grow-out procedures are the central points. This will allow the culture of new polychaetes, possible in polyculture systems that can enhance aquaculture sustainability, reduce environmental threat and increase earnings. Considerable environmental benefits might be gained by increasing bait farming and reducing bait-digging activity. Moreover, many anglers would prefer to purchase cultured bait rather than dig their own, provided the supplies were of high quality and priced advantageously with respect to some of the worms collected from the wild. Additionally, some worms are also regarded as one of the most important components in order to maintain a thriving sand bed. They are excellent scavengers and detritus consumers. Their activity turns over the upper layers of aquarium sand beds, working detritus into the sand, thereby preventing clumping. Furthermore, the demand for polychaetes has increased as a result of their use to feed other species in aquaculture as it ensures adequate nutrition for reared broodstock. Last but not the least, polychaetes are also extensively used for research purposes, as model animals, for instance in reproduction, ecotoxicology, bioremediation, and environmental monitoring studies. Substantial work focused on the main technical improvements and advances have been made in areas as varied as polychaetes’ aquaculture potential, reared species, main species used worldwide, highlights biological and ecological concerns, important challenges and recommendations.

For more information please refer:Insight into aquaculture's potential of marine annelid worms and ecological concerns: a review

Polychaetes and their potential use in aquaculture