Bioanalysis and biotechnology
EXPLIAS research project aims to perform a primary survey for three of the most important invasive alien species (IAS) in the Greek seas, namely Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789), Pterois miles (Bennett, 1828) and Fistularia commersonii (Rüppell, 1838), and to examine their current stocks. In addition, it aims to explore possible prospects for their sustainable management on the basis of marine biodiversity protection and restoration, as well as in the light of achieving an optimum economic exploitation of their biomass. In this context, the content of added-value substances, such as collagen, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, will be determined in the specific IAS and innovative methods for processing and utilization of those substances in cosmetology and food industry will be investigated. Assessing the toxic burden of IAS is another key objective of EXPLIAS, and chemical analysis of biotoxins in lagocephalus and lionfish samples will be carried out for this purpose. Moreover, research will be conducted for the development of novel treatment technologies that will enable the effective detoxification of lagocephalus from tedrodotoxin (TTX) and promote the exploitation of the "clean" fish biomass. By highlighting new ways of exploitation, EXPLIAS aims to place the specific IAS in the crosshairs of intensive fishing, which will eventually lead to a reduction in their population.