Research

Sea urchins are a favourite menu item for sushi consumers in Japan, especially on Okinawa, where collector urchins (Tripneustes gratilla) grow naturally but are now seriously over-fished.

One of the major challenges to fish-farming companies as they try to produce market-size fish more rapidly is that in many species the natural development of reproductive organs (testes and ovaries) – diverts energy away from growing, causing the growth rate to slow.

Research conducted into the genetic make-up of a resilient red alga has taken scientists a step closer to breeding disease-resistant seaweed.

Jaw malformation, which has a large negative impact on the quality of greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) fingerlings, may be minimized by using low brightness rearing tank walls, according to a study conducted in Japan.

The challenge of securing breeding advances in farmed fish through genomics and new genetic technologies is one of key focus areas identified by Edinburgh-based Roslin Technologies, a specialist biotechnology company which has recently raised £10 million in new funding to help commercialize research findings from the world renowned Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A study of hypoxia that started in a lab, then moved to the Gulf of Mexico, has now found its way to the cold waters of Northeastern United States in Chesapeake Bay. That is where researchers Troy Tuckey and Mary Fabrizio at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are looking at how naturally occurring hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay area is affecting fish resources, namely the Atlantic Croaker (Micropogonias undulates). The laboratory study found that the gonads of fish exposed to low levels of oxygenated water (hypoxia is considered DO ≤ 2 mg/L) were smaller than fish exposed to normoxic (normal oxygen levels) due to endocrine disrupters.

Wide market acceptance, high market value and their large size make Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus Hippoglossus L.) an attractive species for aquaculture.  However, high mortalities in early life stages have been a challenge for commercial producers.

A research effort in New Zealand has made a breakthrough in the early rearing of greenshell mussels. New Zealand’s mussel farming industry is worth $350 million to the nation’s economy, but utilizes largely wild-caught spat. Rodney Roberts, programme manager for Shellfish Production and Technology New Zealand Ltd (SPATNZ), says the research at their hatchery in Nelson should make the process much easier for farmers and place less stress on local stocks.

There’s a lot of research going into rearing bluefin tuna in European countries along the Mediterranean coast, and in Australia and Japan but now researchers in the U.S. state of Maryland are cranking up investigation into this highly valued species.

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