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Towards enhanced and sustainable use of genetics and breeding in the European aquaculture industry


The European aquaculture industry is a dynamic production sector characterized by a large variety of cultivated species and various rearing environments. The industry, although heterogeneous in size and type, is willing to collaborate with research organisations to tackle the problems inherent to any young production system but also to invest in strategic areas. Genetic improvement represent a crucial area for any industry whose activities depend on the trade of improved "seeds" in both the plant and animal production sectors. When we consider the commitments made by the aquaculture sector in the area of genetic improvement, the industry can be divided into two halves.
On one side pioneering companies have developed sophisticated selection programs and are n ow investing in the application of new technologies to their breeding systems. On the other side are the small producers which have either set up sporadic breeding activities or have not invested at all in breeding and are still using unselected broodstock .
The project will be designed to redress this imbalance with the following objectives: define the research priorities of the industry already involved in aquaculture breeding, promote the dissemination of knowledge to support a major involvement of the en tire industry in breeding activities, create the conditions for a progressive integration of the European aquaculture industry into the FABRE Technology Platform.
The output of this project will consist of the definition of a strategic research agenda for the aquaculture sector in relation to breeding techniques and the provision of a vision paper defining the needs of the industry within the remit of the Technology Platform on animal breeding. The project also intends to increase the awareness within the e ntire industry of the benefits of implementing breeding activities and the use of genomic tools in the production of aquaculture species and by doing this assist in addressing the imbalance described above.

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