Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIFF (Bivalves from farm to fork)

European scallop aquaculture is constrained by the annual inconsistency in the quantity and quality of seed supply. Differences in the quality and condition of the subsequent fully grown scallops provide processors with a raw material very different from other food materials used in modern processing industries. With the increased demands for shellfish products due to their healthy image, improvements in food technology and product development were required. This project integrated multi-disciplinary resources from bivalve hatchery production and on-growing to seafood processing by considering a "total food chain" approach on all research, training and technology transfer levels.

The objective of the project was to develop an economically viable and environmentally sustainable genetic breeding programme for scallops in order to produce seed in a hatchery to supplement the inconsistent wild seed supply. The project also optimised on-growing, harvesting and processing (effects of different handling, storage and packaging) of the shellfish. To achieve these objectives 10 Fellows (75 person months) were seconded to the project.
Partner Roles Partner 1. Daithi O'Murchu Marine Research Station (DOMMRS): They provided the infrastructure for the breeding programme and on-growing and provided practical know-how of a commercial aquaculture operation. They also coordinated the project.
Partner 2: Institute of Marine Research - Bergen: They provided scientific transfer of knowledge for hatchery and on-growing work.
Partner 3. AkvaForsk: They provided scientific knowledge for the establishment of the breeding programme and in modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) processing of scallops.
Partner 4. Fastnet Mussels Ltd: They provided infrastructure for the processing workpackage and practical know-how of a commercial seafood processing plant.
Partner 5. University of Bologna: They provided knowledge of environmental and economic risk assessment.

The project outputs were:
1. A review identifying current best practice for hatchery production and on-growing of scallops. The review also identified the most important problems and identified possible solutions.
2. A successful breeding cycle including: algal culture, broodstock conditioning, spawning and fertilisation, larval rearing, larval settlement. The F1 generation produced will be used as the base population for the selective breeding programme after the most successful families are identified in accordance with the selection index chosen.
3. A method to avoid self-fertilisation of scallop eggs in a hatchery.
4. Identification of optimal transport temperatures for different cohorts of scallops.
5. A method for tagging scallops and minimum size for tagging identified.
6. Investigation of the use of grazers (urchins) to control bio-fouling in on-growing systems and on scallop shells.
7. A harvesting study investigating the population structure of the catch, growth rate and seasonal effects.
8. An improved modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) method to increase survival of scallops during transport and storage.
9. A study that assessed the environmental, food-safety and economic risks of the hatchery breeding programme and on-growing systems developed.
10. Best practice guidelines disseminated to the aquaculture industry.

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