The Selfdott project involves 13 institutions from different countries. (Photo: Google Selfdott, IEO)
IEO begin fattening bluefin tuna born in captivity
Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography
(IEO) have succeeded in transferring some 60 juvenile bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus
), which were born in captivity within labs in San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia), to fattening cages located offshore in the Bay of el Gorguel (Cartagena).
The specimens were 50 days old and had an average weight of around 20 grams.
The tuna were bred in facilities at the Oceanographic Centre in Murcia.
The IEO defined the successful transfer as "another step towards achieving the domestication of bluefin tuna."
The experts explained that although the mortality rate is high, the surviving specimens are healthy and eat normally.
All these research projects are conducted under the European project Selfdott (Self-sustained Aquaculture and Domestication of Bluefin Tuna), which studies the progress of bluefin tuna cultivation in captivity, under the coordination of Fernando de la Gandara.
This project is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union, and involves 13 institutions from different countries.
Last June, scientists from the IEO managed to place viable eggs in bluefin tuna which were in captivity without hormonal induction.
Until now, experts had only been able to obtain over five million viable bluefin eggs by hormonal induction in their facilities located in El Gorguel.
Spanish investigators asserted that it was "very important" for tuna to reach a degree of domestication, due to their permanence in experimental cages for over three years.
As a result, more than 10 million viable eggs were achieved in one day.
By Analia Murias