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SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH IN TUNA RESEARCH

First successful In-vitro Fertilization of Tuna Eggs from Captive Stock by EU Scientists paves the way for future research.

On Thursday the 7th of July Members of a European Union funded research team from France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta and Spain together with the commercial Tuna Farm Tuna Graso S.A. based at La Azohia., Puerto de Mazarron, Spain have for the first time successfully used hormonal induction in captive brood stock of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Thunnus thynnus to obtain eggs and sperm. In- vitro fertilization was carried out successfully and viable tuna larvae have been produced. These are developing at the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Murcia, Planta de Cultivos Marinos, Puerto de Mazarron, Spain. This is a very important achievement in controlling the reproduction of the Bluefin Tuna as it proves that Bluefin tuna is able to mature in captivity and produce viable eggs and sperm for successful fertilization. This, in turn, is the first step at controlling the whole life cycle of the fish in captivity. Bluefin Tuna fishing stocks are at a very critical level. This must be the first answer to the tremendous political, social and environmental pressure to save the Tuna from extinction as it gives substantial hope for the eventual cultivation of the species using larvae produced in captivity, similarly to other well-known fish species. The members of the Reproduction and Domestication of Thunnus thynnus (REPRODOTT) consortium are convinced that this project represents one of the last chances to save the species by establishing the possibility of raising domesticated fish in captivity which in turn allows the regulation of tuna fishing intensity to manage the endangered wild stock for the shared benefits of future generations, be they fishermen/growers, consumers and conservationists and at the same time provide viable larvae for future needs in understanding of Bluefin tuna biology.

Keywords

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Countries

Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Israel, Italy, Malta