The project “Diversification of Spanish aquaculture through the optimization of the breeding of the greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) - SERIOLA” is led by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and its partners the Institute for Aquaculture of the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA El Toruño). SERIOLA fits within the framework of the National Plans for Aquaculture and is co-funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAPA) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2014-2020.
In addition to experimental tests, researchers recently launched a series of validation trials for fattening of greater amberjack juveniles.
“After having recorded good results in natural lays of greater amberjack at the Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems (IU-ECOAQUA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the resulting juveniles were sent to the premises of the participating entities and collaborative partners to carry out different pilot tests,” stated Javier Roo, national coordinator of the project and Chief Investigator of the program at the IU-ECOAQUA. “Thus, as an example, juveniles were sent to the Aquaculture Cluster in Galicia and the Institute for Aquaculture of the University of Santiago de Compostela to carry out pathological tests and validation tests in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS).”
Another batch of juveniles was sent to CTAQUA Aquaculture Technology Centre, as it is the entity in charge of validating fattening in the Mediterranean. CTAQUA carried out the lairaging of the specimens at its premises and subsequently shipped those to the company Piscifactoria de Albaladejo SL, in San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia region) for their fattening under offshore conditions in the Mediterranean.
“A part of the specimens from this batch remains in our premises in El Puerto de Santa Maria, in order to carry out an additional validation on the growing phase,” confirmed Maria del Mar Agraso, Technical Director of CTAQUA. In the months to come, the Technology Centre is going to carry out validation tests of a diet developed by the IU-ECOAQUA team, which includes specific functional ingredients for greater amberjack.
The project is also carrying out tests on nutritional profiles and diet performance. Thus far, researchers have established the optimum levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 (n-3 PUFA) to add to fattening diets; a new test has been launched to assess the addition of different functional ingredients in feed.
“By carrying out these tests, we intend to tackle some challenges arising of the fattening of the greater amberjack both under RAS systems, and in cages, such as the bacterial and parasitic infections or the effect of the temperature decrease in the Mediterranean in winter,” explained Javier Roo.
Also, in the framework of this project, a thorough list of risk agents affecting this species was drafted. On this list, it is observed that parasites are the most frequent and more common risk agents. This work is being developed by the Institute for Aquaculture of the University of Santiago de Compostela (IA-USC).
The progress made under the SERIOLA project was recently shared at the AQUA 2018 conference held in Montpellier. Final results will be featured at the next Aquaculture National Conference, and a thorough workshop on the cultivation of this species is planned for 2019.