The present project draws on the exceptional opportunity to combine forces between an international group of scientists and commercial 'growing out' facilities for bluefin tuna (BFT) to provide an in-depth study of the reproduction of BFT in captivity, thereby providing a strategic feasibility study for the domestication of this species. The controlled reproduction is a crucial step on the road to domesticating a wild species. The project will study the hormonal regulation on gonadal development, maturation of gametes, spawning and fecundity, and finally develop suitable methods to control the reproduction of the BFT. The availability of captive broodstock will allow an increase in knowledge from the input of reproductive cues to recruitment determinism in the wild. This will allow better management of the resource in a global sense.
The four main objectives of the project are:
1) to improve the knowledge of the reproductive biology of the species in captivity and compare this with wild populations, in order to develop an aquaculture farming technology for the bluefin tuna (BFT)
2) to assess the capability of BFT broodstock to mature and spawn in captivity
3) to obtain viable eggs from BFT breeders and bring them to hatching must be assessed and found to be feasible
4) to develop handling techniques for routine operations in BFT aquaculture, including setting up safe and effective anaesthesia procedures, designing adequate transportation systems for live fish, developing egg collection devices for cage-reared BFT, and employing non-invasive methods for the assessment of BFT sex and maturation status.
The progress of the project will be clearly marked by the milestones, such as: development of handling techniques and the completion of wild and caged fish sampling programmes for sex and maturity; successful broodstock maintenance; natural spawning and induced spawning success; determination of reproductive hormonal control; and successful hatching of eggs. The long-term results will determine the global strategy to be followed for the successful and sustainable aquaculture of BFT.
FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE
Scientist responsible for the project
Mr ANTONIO GARCIA GOMEZ
CARRETERA DE LA AZOHIA S/N
30860 PUERTO DE MAZARRON
Spain - ES
Phone: +34 968153339
Fax: +34 968153934
||INSTITUTO ESPA—OL DE OCEANOGRAFIA
||01 January 2003
||2 424 855 €
|Total EC contribution
||1 507 002 €