A new state-of-the-art Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) to be used for rearing breeders of marine fish was constructed at the AQUALABS facilities of the IMBBC, in the Fish Reproduction & Physiology facility directed by Constantinos C. Mylonas. The RAS design was by StavRAS Aquatics and the construction by SELECT Aquaculture Technology, and was funded by a Horizon Europe Framework Programme with the acronym “Cure4Aqua”. The project will optimize fish production processes for the health and well-being of farmed species and the protection of the environment and the consumer. Cure4Aqua will also explore innovative approaches to tackle farmed fish diseases through prevention, the application of new technologies for early disease detection, while supporting the development of alternative treatments to replace pharmaceuticals.
IMBBC participates in a number of Work Packages in Cure4Aqua, namely in the area of reproduction, aquaculture technologies, genetics, and health management and vaccine development. The objective of the new design is to evaluate a high recirculation and biosecurity RAS, and to study the effect of the removal of reproductive steroids and stress hormones on the health, welfare and reproductive performance of fish. This task will also develop a method for non-invasive monitoring of reproductive function by measuring the concentrations of these hormones in tank water.
The IMBBC is one of the three institutes of the HCMR, with headquarters in Heraklion, Crete and facilities in Anavyssos, Attica and Souda, Crete. With a staff of 111 people and 24 regular researchers, it undertakes research in marine biodiversity, genetics and genomics, and aquaculture.