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Intensive and sustainable culture of the freshwater species tencii

Final Report Summary - PROTENCH (Intensive and sustainable culture of the freshwater species tencii)

Tench is a cyprinid fish of significant commercial value that has been cultivated in European ponds for more than 500 years. However, its narrow spawning period and its semi-intensive production limit its presence in the food market. The main objective of the PROTENCH project was the application of scientific achievements towards the development of an intensive system of culture that would allow for the sustainable and continuous production of fry and adult tenchs. The implemented methodology had to take into consideration reproduction issues, feeding affairs and environmental factors.

The project was organised in distinct, yet interrelated, Work packages (WPs) with the following objectives:
1. to control the reproductive processes in captivity and overcome the seasonality of spawning so as to artificially induce it;
2. to optimise the short term storage that affected the quality of gametes and specify optimal conditions for insemination, fertilisation, incubation and hatching;
3. to identify the fundamental nutrition requirements of tench for all production phases and develop a practical diet that would allow fish to meet marketable size;
4. to optimise farming conditions for the entire range of identified environmental parameters;
5. to adjust fish hatchery facilities to an adequate commercialisation of tench and determine optimum practices for the transport of live fish;
6. to identify the target group that might be interested in the applicability of the process, conceptualise an exploitation strategy and design marketing actions to increase the commercialisation of the species.

PROTENCH was overall successful and resulted in the development of useful techniques. The latter were disseminated to stakeholders through a series of activities, such as participation in conferences and meetings, preparation of documentation and development and regular update of the project website.