Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus. (Photo: IEO)
Farmed Atlantic wreckfish could reach the market in 10 years
Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 21:20 (GMT + 9)
Scientists at Vigo Oceanographic Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) are leading an ambitious project aiming at achieving the cultivation of Atlantic wreckfish (Polyprion americanus).
The initiative is part of a larger European project called Diversify, which focuses on developing new methods of processing and marketing for six new aquaculture species.
During this week, researchers involved in the project Diversify will gather at the Oceanographic Centre of Vigo to evaluate the activities of this year and put forward the objectives for the next four.
They will also visit the facilities of the Galician Institute for Aquaculture Training (IGAFA) of the Xunta de Galicia and Aquarium Finisterrae, in order to make a comprehensive review of available broodstock.
Atlantic wreckfish is a fish of fast growth and high market price, and is included in the red list of endangered species.
Virtually all wreckfish unloaded in ports comes from the fishing grounds of Azores Islands, however, the geographic distribution is almost universal.
The Atlantic wreckfish project is led by the Oceanographic Centre of Vigo and has the support of industry companies interested in developing this technology, and Aquarium do Grove, who also works in some of the tasks, IEO informed.
In addition, other Spanish and European institutions take part of it: the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), the Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), University of La Laguna, University of Las Palmas and Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research.
According to Jose Benito Peleteiro, researcher at the Centre and coordinator of work on wreckfish, "so far the results are encouraging and the possibilities of farming this species of great commercial value are really good".
"If everything goes well, in 10 years we could have the first aquaculture Atlantic wreckfish on the markets," he added.
The Diversify project (Exploring the biological and socio-economic potential of new/emerging candidate fish species for the expansion of the European aquaculture industry) is funded by the European Union (EU) and has two main objectives:
- The development of scientific and methodological techniques that ensure successful cultivation of selected species, contributing to the expansion of the industry;
- Identifying the key aspects to market acceptance of new prototypes of food in order to position the European aquaculture sector as a leader in aquatic food production.
This European initiative is funded by the 38 partners from 12 countries, which contributed EUR 11.8 million.
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By Analia Murias