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Dietary self-selection in fish: a geometrical approach for optimising aquaculture production *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-00989
Project type: CA (Concerted Action)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 264,677 EUR
EC Contribution: 260,000 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Abstract:
Despite abundant reports on fish nutrition, dietary self-selection is little explored. To date, to compose diet mixtures, theoretical formulations have to be practically evaluated in long and costly feed trials. However, fish show considerable 'nutritional wisdom' in selecting nutritionally balanced diets from sub-optimal feeds. A better knowledge of macronutrient self-selection in fish has important economic, welfare and environmental benefits. The geometric analysis of dietary selection represents a major innovation, providing new concepts for fish nutrition. The partners involved in this Concerted Action have made significant contributions to this field and are currently developing research programmes at a national level. The harmonisation of their research activities and the communal discussion of data sets will improve the performance and relevance of the national projects, integrating the data analysis and designing new experimental approaches.

Objectives:
The main objective is to harmonise individual research activities to take advantage of recent theoretical and experimental advances in fish nutrition to assess:

a) whether and how fish regulate their macronutrient intake, finding targets in the nutritional space (three macronutrients axes) and to verify that fish defend them;
b) how they balance overingesting some nutrients against undereating others when provided with suboptimal diets of animal and plant origin;
c) how they regulate food selection, growth and body composition post-ingestively; and
d) how such points of regulation change with the age of fish, season and rearing conditions.

Such data will allow manufacturers to formulate feeds that better reflect the needs and regulatory responses of fish. As a result, feeding performance and flesh composition will be optimised, fish welfare improved, and nitrogenous and other waste products minimised, providing considerable benefits to the aquaculture industry and its consumers.


Coordinator
Manuel HERNÁNDEZ CÓRDOBA
UNIVERSIDAD DE MURCIA
Murcia
SPAIN
Tel.: +34 968363651
Fax: +34 968367302
E-mail: vicinves@um.es


Partners
  Pierre CHASSIN
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE
Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 5 56843277
Fax: +33 5 5684?274
E-mail: Chassin@bordeaux.inra.fr
  Hans ERSTAD
INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH
Bergen
NORWAY
Tel.: +47 55238518
Fax: +47 55238531
E-mail: hans.erstad@imr.no
  Pierre ESPINASSE
CHANCELLORS MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Oxford
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1865270043
Fax: +44 1865280467
E-mail: pierre.espinasse@admin.ox.ac.uk
  Juhani KETTUNEN
FINNISH GAME AND FISHERIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Helsinki
FINLAND
Tel.: +358 20575230
Fax: +358 205751201
E-mail: juhani.kettunen@rktl.fi
  Hans LUNDOVIST
SVERIGES LANTBRUKSUNIVERSITET
Umeea
SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 907867885
Fax: +46 90123729
E-mail: hans.lundqvist@vabr.slu.se