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Friday, August 1, 2014

01/08/2014: New and emerging fish species for expansion of the European aquaculture industry

The largest scale research project undertaken by the European Commission is currently in development and aims to enhance European aquaculture production by removing bottlenecks in the production process associated with emerging species, creating new products and accessing potential markets.
The Diversify project, co-funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission and had its kickoff meeting at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece in January 2014.

Coordinated by Dr Constantinos C Mylonas of the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture, a total of 38 partners from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany and Hungary have participated in this five-year-long research.

The Netherlands is represented by Wageningen University’s DLO, The National Institute for Fisheries Studies and the Technical University of Eindhoven.

Diversify has identified a number of emerging finfish species, with a great potential for expanding the EU aquaculture industry. The fish species to be studied include meagre (Argyrosomus regius), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), wreckfish (Polyprion americanus), Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) and pikeperch (Sander lucioperca).

These species -- selected based both on their biological and economical potential - can be marketed at a large size and processed into a range of products to provide the consumer with both a greater diversity of fish species and new value-added products.

In the framework of the project, research will be carried out in the scientific disciplines of Reproduction and Genetics, Nutrition, Larval and Grow out husbandry, Fish health, Final product quality and Socioeconomics.

The socio-economic research in Diversify includes an applied market development approach, on perception of aquaculture products, market demand, buyer preferences, new product development, value adding and developing test markets.

The universities in the Netherlands will be responsible for these activities, of which the outcomes will help the EU aquaculture sector and the supply industry in targeted marketing and improvement of its international competitive position.

At present, the Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for international buyers in retail and foodservice industries to interview concerning buying preferences and other possible opportunities.



The Aquaculturists
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