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Last update: May 2021

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© aquabt
European funded research projects working on furthering knowledge on the fundamental processes of fish reproduction. The following projects are funded under the 5th and 6th Framework Programmes for Research and Development of the European Community. Their members are also key partners in the Reprofish project, contributing their knowledge and expertise.

Lead partner: Geir-Lasse Taranger, IMR, Norway
Objective: To develop improved photoperiod controls for delaying first sexual maturity (puberty) in commercially farmed European fish species. The project aims to achieve this objective by improving knowledge on the following: mechanisms involved in activation of the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis during puberty; importance of light intensity and spectral quality on the function of the BPG axis and the onset of puberty; interactions between photoperiod protocols, genetic background and adiposity in arresting/inciting puberty.
Further information:Pubertiming website
Lead partner: Silvia Zanuy, CSIC, Spain
Objective: To understand the mechanisms regulating sex differentiation in cultured sea bass, with the aim of developing methodologies to minimise the proportion of males in cultured stocks. The project aims to perform a temporal evaluation of sea bass during the sex differentiation period, in order to understand which sex differentiation genes, brain and pituitary hormones, key steroidogenic enzymes, sex-steroid receptors, sex-steroid hormones or growth factors may be involved in the regulation of sex differentiation in males and females. Additionally, environmental factors such as temperature and density will be manipulated during critical periods in early development, in order to reduce or eliminate male dominance in cultured sea bass.
Further information: CORDIS website, CSIC website.
Lead partner: Esther Lubzens, Israeli Oceanographic & Limnological Research
Objective: To develop technologies for cryopreservation of fish oocytes, whilst ensuring their viability after cryogenic storage and thawing. Work concentrates on: the biological barriers for cryopreservation; the identification of specific biological markers to monitor oocyte viability; the development of oocyte in vitro incubation procedures to promote oocyte maturation, ovulation and fertilisation; the development of new cryopreservation technologies, using freshwater and marine species models.
Further information: Cryocyte website
Lead partner: Patrick Kestemont, Université Notre Dame de la Paix de Namur, Belgium
Objective: To secure the production of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) juveniles in order to sustain the development of European SME's (small to medium enterprises), which have diversified and invested in this innovative sector. The project focuses on: the optimisation of broodstock management; the achievement of delayed and out-of-season spawning; the reduction of broodstock mortality during the spawning period; the improvement of gamete and larval quality.
Further information:Percatech website
Lead partner: Patrick Kestemont, Université Notre Dame de la Paix de Namur, Belgium
Objective: To secure the supply of high quality eggs and larvae of pikeperch. The specific objectives of the project are: securing continuous supply of eggs and larvae by developing out-of-season spawning technology by temperature and photoperiod control; investigating the effects of different husbandry and dietary variables on reproductive physiology and nutritional status of broodstock, and related effects on spawning performances, gamete and larval quality; comparing the quality of eggs and larvae from broodstock kept in differing environments, and definition of a referential for the quality of pikeperch eggs and larvae; setting efficient protocols for broodstock and larvae management, to produce pikeperch sex-reversed males and all-female juvenile populations.
Further information: Luciopercimprove website
Lead partner: Eddy Van der Meijden, University of Leiden, Netherlands
Objective: The ultimate goal is to halt the decline of the European eel population. This project aims to: determine the reproduction capacity of silver eels from different locations and the impact of disease on their physical fitness; provide management tools eel habitat and fisheries management; provide fundamental knowledge on the reproduction process.
Further information: Eelrep website
Lead partner: Silvia Zanuy, CSIC, Spain
Objective: To investigate the GnRH system in sea bass, following molecular and physiological approaches, with special emphasis on theGrIRH-R. The aim is to develop tools to aid in the development of more effective spawning induction therapies for the aquaculture industry, based on the determination of the optimal physiological stage of the fish for hormonal treatment and the use of new GnRHa.
Further information: CORDIS website
Lead partner: Olav Sand, University of Oslo, Norway
Objective: To characterise the different GnRH systems in the brain and pituitary of Atlantic cod, and to investigate how these are regulated. The project combines molecular neuroendocrinology and electrophysiology in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the GnRH system and its effects on the gonadotropes. The ultimate aim is to address the problem of early sexual maturation in captivity.
Further information:University of Oslo website
Lead partner: Eric Philipsen, Philipsen Aquaculture, Netherlands
Objective: The overall aim of this project was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of intensive culture of pike-perch. Specific objectives were: market potential of intensively reared pike-perch (for restocking and consumption); production costs using a recirculation or flow-through system; optimisation of pike-perch production through research on reproduction, fingerling production and on-growing.
Further information: CORDIS website
Lead partner: Alvaro Fernandez, Spanish Oceanographic Institute, Spain
Objective: The overall objective was to study the feasibility of domestication of the bluefin tuna. There were four sub-objectives: improvement of the knowledge of the reproductive biology of the species in captivity, compared to wild populations; assessment of the capability of broodstock to mature and spawn in captivity; investigation of the feasibility of obtaining viable eggs from broodstock; development of handling techniques.
Further information:CORDIS website; Spanish Oceanographic Institute website; Hellenic Centre for Marine Research