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Regulations of skin colouration in the Red Porgy (Pagrus pagrus): Towards the development of natural hue in cultured populations

The red porgy is one of the most popular sparids in the Mediterranean region and along the Atlantic coast, and initial commercial trials have already been performed in several Mediterranean fish farms. The purpose of this project is to resolve the main problem for moving towards commercial production, which is the discoloration of skin observed in cultured fish. This will be done by an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach (environmental, nutritional and neuroendocrine impact on skin colour, industrial application and market analysis) and the project will lead to the development of a new product for aquaculture, and contribute to the diversification of production.

Objectives
The objectives of this project are:
1) to define the red porgy's requirements (rearing conditions, diet) towards the development of a natural hue
2) to understand the physiological basis of colour change
3) to analyse the acceptability of the developed product within traditional and developing markets.

Results
Through a multidisciplinary approach, the project will contribute to a better understanding
of the mechanisms regulating pigmentation in fish. The application of modern techniques in the study of brain circuits controlling skin colour will enhance our understanding of the hypothalamic regulatory system and of the nervous system in fish, the mechanisms governing biological, ethological and behavioural (chromatic adaptation) processes and their interrelationship. The project also includes in its scope the development of an appropriate food and the definition of a feeding strategy for this species. The identification of the appropriate culture conditions for the development of natural hue will lead to an improved and integrated culture st rategy for a new species for aquaculture. Finally, red porgy may be used as a model species for solving discoloration problems observed in several other commercially important marine species.

Classified in FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Mr MICHAEL PAVLIDIS
Box 2214
71003 Heraklion
Greece - GR

Phone: +30 81346860
Fax: +30 81241882
E-mail: mpav@imbc.gr

References

Project ID QLRT-1999-31629
Organisation Institute of Marine Biology in Crete
Area 5.1.2
Start date 01 October 2000
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 1 326 894 €
Total EC contribution   1 044 000 €
Status Completed

The partners

  • INSTITUTE OF MARINE BIOLOGY OF CRETE, Greece - GR
  • LAGONISI AQUACULTURE LTD, Greece - GR
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