Atlantic bonito hatched in captivity nearly a year ago have lain egs. (Photo: IEO)
Atlantic bonito's biological cycle closed in captivity
Friday, May 14, 2010, 22:20 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers of the Spanish Oceanography Institute (IEO) managed to get several Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda) hatched 11 months ago in captivity to lay viable eggs.
It is the first time that egg placements of this species have been secured in captivity, which entails closing its biological cycle outside its natural habitat.
The experiment was carried out in the marine cultures plant of the Murcian municipality of Mazarron.
The research is within the framework of the European project Selfdott (Self-sustained Aquaculture and Domestication of Bluefin Tuna), which studies advances in bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) breeding in captivity.
The IEO issued an official statement detailing that the skipjack tuna broodstocks had been captured in
the Azohia trap net and then transferred to the Mazarron plant . There they became acclimated to life in captivity in tanks of 20 and 40 cubic metres of water and were fed with fish.
The experts who participated in the project assure that their progress is “a very significant step towards closing the bluefin tuna cycle in captivity.”
In 2006, the Murcia Oceanographic Centre – a dependency of the IEO - began to work with the Atlantic bonito and to develop different breeding and larvae experiences from reproduction and larval culture.
Skipjack tuna has great commercial value and is uncommmon in the aquaculture field.
These units mature in the first year of life, whereas the majority of resources in captivity do so between three and four years of life.
The Selfdott project was initiated in 2008 by researchers Aurelio Ortega and Fernando de la Gandara. The primary objectives of this project, in which institutes and entities from several EU countries participate, are:
- To advance in the knowledge of bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus,breeding in captivity
- To establish the basic knowledge necessary for the control over the development of eggs and larvae;
- To establish the basic knowledge necessary for the development of efficient food, respectful to the environment;
The final goal is to improve Atlantic tuna fry, making it independent of the catches of juvenile units in its natural habitat, and achieving greater competitiveness in the European aquaculture sector.
- Bluefin tuna breeding breakthrough may spur sustainability
By Analia Murias