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Dietary self-selection in fish: a geometrical approach for optimising aquaculture production


The main objective is to harmonise individual research activities to take advantage of recent theoretical and experimental advances in fish nutrition to assess a) whether and how fish regulate their macronutrient intake, finding targets in the nutritional space (three macronutrients axes) and verify that fish defend them, b) how they balance overingesting some nutrients against undereating others when provided with suboptimal diets of animal and plant origin, c) how they regulate food selection, growth and body composition post-ingestively, and d) how such points of regulation change with the age of fish, season and rearing conditions. Such data will allow manufacturers to formulate feeds that better reflect the needs and regulatory responses of fish. As a result, feeding performance and flesh composition will be optimised, fish welfare improved, and other waste products minimised, providing considerable benefits to the aquaculture industry and its consumers.

The above objectives will be achieved through: - RESEARCH MEETINGS, (four over three years) hosted by partners no. 1 UM (month 1), no. 4 FGFRI (month 12), no. 5 UO (month 24) and no. 2 INRA (month 36). In the first meeting the existing experimental systems and data will be assessed to formulate new designs and methods. The second meeting will discuss a) techniques for measuring food intake and growth under self-selection regimes, and b) procedures for physiological studies. In the third meeting, two EU-experts on north European and Mediterranean aquaculture will be invited to discuss the relevance of the geometric analysis of dietary self-selection to the industry.

COLLABORATIVE WORK, as described in WP2-7, to assess communal data analysis and interpretation.
Both fresh water (trout and salmon) and marine fish species (sea bass and sharsnout sea bream) which display distinct feeding habits (carnivorous and plantivorous), will be investigated as these species are currently used by the partners and represent ideal subjects to investigate dietary selection in fish with great commercial interest for North European and Mediterranean aquaculture. - SHORT-TERM EXCHANGES, which will test specific experiments and methods to provide new models. - STEERING GROUP MEETINGS, interim meetings which will implement networking activity to co-ordinate the development of joint activities. - DISSEMINATION of results and conclusions to make findings of the project known to all partners, the EC, the scientific community and potential users in the industry. Progress reports summarising main findings on data analysis, new experimental designs and methodologies, will be disseminated. To communicate the relevance of the geometric analysis of dietary self-selection to feed manufacturers and farmers, a user-friendly leaflet will be distributed. At the end of the project, a final report for the EU and a major research and development programme will be produce.

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Universidad de Murcia
EU contribution
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Av/ Teniente Flomesta, 5
30003 Murcia

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Participants (5)