Agriculture councillor, Antonio Cerdá and secretary A. Villaruiz visiting IEO facilities in Murcia. (Photo: CARM.es)
20,000 bluefin tuna larvae obtained in captivity
Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
Researchers at the Oceanographic Centre of Murcia, belonging to the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), achieved an international milestone by getting about 20,000 larvae of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) naturally from 30 adult specimens bred in captivity.
The larvae, which have already exceeded the 20 days of life and reached three grams in weight, will be thrown into the sea in the coming days, sources from the Government of Murcia reported.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Water, Antonio Cerdá, having achieved the end of the cycle of the bluefin tuna "is a great scientific challenge."
"Murcia has become the benchmark of the Mediterranean in this type of research," as the only European region to achieve the resource reproduction and egg laying, the official said, according to Europa Press agency.
The exploitation of bluefin tuna "has been linked to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea," Cerdá added after visiting the facilities of the Experimental Plant of Marine Cultures from the Oceanographic Centre of Murcia, together with Alice Villauriz, general secretary of Marine Affairs of the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM).
This research is part of the work performed following the signing of a cooperation agreement for the development of the project ‘Larval rearing and bluefin tuna farming,’ by the Government of the Region of Murcia from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) and Cajamurcia financial institutions, Caja Mediterráneo, Cajamar and La Caixa, and Ricardo Fuentes Group.
In 2009 and 2010 this stage of development was also reached and larvae that survived after 73 and 110 days, respectively, were achieved.
The project coordinator, Fernando de la Gándara, told EFE agency that if tuna weighed over 200 grams, they would be able to survive.
Villauriz, meanwhile, stressed the fact that this project offers "great interest for Spain."
On the other hand, this tuna fishing situation forced authorities to restrict its capture and to regulate its fishing in the Mediterranean by means of annual taxes.
In 1999 fishing 32,000 tonnes was authorised and in 2010, only 13,500 tonnes was allowed.
- Mass bluefin egg layings obtained without hormonal induction
By Analia Murias