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The aquaculture sector is growing, with fish farming being a key way to ensure Europe gets the quality food it needs without exploiting marine resources further. One key problem the industry faces is how to get the immature fish though their first few months – one EU project may be about to smooth the way.
Aquaculture is a growing market within the EU, bringing employment and providing a sustainable source of fish at a time when our marine life is under pressure. The main bottle-neck for the production of marine fish is the juvenile phase, especially during the time in which live diets are used. Even the established species, sea bream and sea bass, have a very low survival rate with an average of 25 percent. For new species in aquaculture, such as amberjack and tuna, the mortality is even higher.
Feed - Larvae - Offspring - Types - Zooplankton
The natural first feed for most fish larvae is crustacean nauplii, the offspring of many types of crustacean zooplankton. Fish larvae is evolutionary adapted to such a diet, and it is believed that this type of prey fulfils the fish larva's nutritional requirements.
Planktonic AS, the company behind the CryoPlankton2 project, has developed novel and game-changing techniques to use marine crustacean nauplii, CryoProduct, both commercially and sustainably. They have discovered a way to cryopreserve the nauplii in large user-friendly entities, and to revive them as live individuals after thawing.
Vision - Pilot - CryoPlankton - Production - Process
"Our overall vision was to upscale, pilot and commercialise the innovative CryoPlankton production process for cryopreserved marine crustacean nauplii. This can replace conventional live feeds used at marine hatcheries," explains lead researcher Dr. Nils Egil Tokle, of CTO Planktonic AS.
A large-scale, industrial trial showed that the vulnerable period during which larvae consume live feed could be greatly reduced in comparison to the time needed when the fish juveniles exist on diets commonly used at...
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