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Sunday, 05 September 2010

EU research achieves breakthrough as fish spawn in captivity

EU scientists have succeeded in obtaining viable mass eggs from Atlantic bluefin tuna in captivity, using natural means and without any hormonal induction. If breeding can be developed on a commercial scale, pressure on endangered wild stocks could be significantly relieved. This is the result of the third year of work of SELFDOTT, a research project funded by the European Union to the tune of € 2.98 million and co-ordinated by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO). The results of the project have been filmed and  broadcasted on 26th August on "Futuris", the science programme of TV channel Euronews. Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said "The SELFDOTT project is yet another example of EU funded research contributing to tackling the most important global challenges facing us today. If the results of this research can ultimately be commercialised, it can improve food supplies and contribute to economic growth and employment while also helping to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna."According to the IEO researchers, these results show the tuna's ability to adapt after more than three years of domestication. A total of 10 million eggs were produced in a single day.Getting naturally spawned eggs from captive individuals represents an important step forward in research on Atlantic bluefin tuna aquaculture, bringing commercial breeding of this species closer. That could contribute to a sustainable management of bluefin tuna.The SELFDOTT team will now study the embryonic and larval development of these eggs and seek to improve the survival and growth of the juveniles. The project aims also to develop sustainable feeds for bluefin tuna juveniles and to produce a protocol for commercial-scale larval rearing.

Source: European Union

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