Cataracts (reversible or irreversible lens opacities) is a production disorder of several species of fish. The aim of this project is to disseminate knowledge on occurrence and causation of cataracts in farmed fish, and to initiate further research to prevent and control the disease.
To achieve this goal, we propose to create a multidisciplinary network of European scientists and aquaculture industrialists to overcome present restraints in research. The project will thus contribute to secure the health and well being of farmed fish, and improve the cost effectiveness of European aquaculture. The competitive advantage of European suppliers of materials or services to the international aquaculture market will be increased. Successful control of cataracts is considered even more important in order not to compromise consumer perception of the aquaculture industry as such, particular regarding its ethical standards of production and the quality of its products. These issues are of major importance for the industry's further competitiveness in the international food market. Bringing the aquaculture industry, fish pathologists and nutritionists together with multidisciplinary working ophthalmologists, a new and unique scientific collaboration for the benefit of future aquaculture production, fish welfare and fish health research will be created; in itself a most valuable goal.
These main objectives have been detailed as follows:
- The project will disseminate scientific knowledge and state-of-the art in cataract research, and discuss current and planned work conducted in this field.
- The project will facilitate exchange of study specimen and transfer of research methodology between laboratories.
- The project will initiate epidemiological studies and thus provide new scientific data on the occurrence and economy of the disease.
- New research on the physiology of the fish eye and the pathogenesis of lens cataracts will be stimulated.
- Financial support for explanatory studies on the cataract problem will be sought.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
DT4 ORN Weymouth - Dorset
IV3 8EX Inverness
BT4 3SD Belfast
NR4 7TJ Norwich
FK9 4LA Stirling