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New EU Research Project on Control of Fish Malformations

A new EU-funded Collective research project – “Finefish” - has been launched to generate new practical knowledge on how to reduce the incidence of malformations in the major fish species used in European aquaculture. The results will be applied to the professional hatchery sector

August 15, 2006

New EU Research Project on Control of Fish Malformations

 

A new EU-funded Collective research project – “Finefish” - has been launched to generate new practical knowledge on how to reduce the incidence of malformations in the major fish species used in European aquaculture. The results will be applied to the professional hatchery sector.

 

“FineFish” has as its core goal the improvement of the sustainability of European fish aquaculture by better control of malformations and, in particular, will seek to combine available information on the causal relation of malformations between species so as to obtain new results faster and with higher precision.

 

Available scientific knowledge and practical experience on the causes of malformations in young fish led to the identification of the following focus areas: rearing temperatures (with emphasis on early life stages), nutrition and tank environment, including gas supplementation and hydrodynamics. The species to be investigated by the project are Atlantic salmon, cod, rainbow trout, sea bass and sea bream, thus covering most of the professional sectors within European fish farming that depend on hatcheries for their livestock.

 

Coordinated by the FEAP (Federation of European Aquaculture Producers), this 3-year project combines hands-on experience and scientific know-how, joining ten top European fish hatcheries with scientists specialising in fish development, for a long-range study of the health of young fish. Hatcheries from around Europe are included as SME partners within the project.

“FineFish” was established as a response to conclusions made in the PROFET workshops (organised by the FEAP, the European Aquaculture Society and AquaTT), specifically one that looked to assess the situation in European hatcheries. During this meeting (held in Bordeaux in 2004), hatchery managers from across Europe reported high levels of skeletal, backbone and gill malformations in fingerlings – juvenile fish about the size of a human finger. Such malformations represent a major source of financial losses for both SME hatcheries and producers due to the loss of production efficiency and quality aspects. Thus, finding ways to reduce or prevent malformations was identified as one of the major research tasks for the European aquaculture industry.

The new knowledge generated on strategies to avoid malformations will be summarised as guidelines for use in 'Best Practise' hatchery operating manuals. Such manuals will provide clear recommendations for the improvement of operations within the hatcheries concerned. Besides ‘Best Practise’ manuals, a Classification handbook for deformity identification will be prepared – helping the operators to identify and determine malformations at an early stage. 

A special monitoring programme is to be developed so as to establish benchmarks for the measurement of improvements; this programme may be enlarged to include other hatcheries at a later stage in the project.

The FEAP is responsible for ensuring that the new strategies developed by the project are transferred to small and medium enterprises in the EU via workshops, training programmes and other dissemination means.

The project’s website, will be an important source for information, providing actualised information on the project. The website will also provide a free subscription-based electronic newsletter.

Project research and technology (RTD) partners:

Participant name

Acronym

Country

Akvaforsk

AKVAFORSK

N

Royal Veterinary College

RVC

UK

UMR NuAGe, INRA-IFREMER-Univ Bordeaux I

INRA

F

Centro de Ciencias do Mar do Algarve

CCMAR

P

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Centre for Marine Research

NCM

Is

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research

HCMR

GR

Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Explotation de la Mer

IFREMER

F

University of Patras

UoP

GR

 

 

SME hatcheries:

 

Participant name

Acronym

Country

Profunda AS

PROFUNDA

N

Ferme Marine de Douhet S.A.

FMD

F

AquaSearch Ova

AQUASEARCH

DK

Viveiro Vila Nova SA

VV

P

Tinamenor

TNSA

E

Bolaks AS

BOLAKS

N

Viviers de France

VDF

F

Brow Well Fisheries Ltd

BROWWELL

UK

Andromeda SA

ANDROMEDA

GR

Panittica Pugliese Spa

PP

It

 
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