A Sea of Possibilities


Written by Soledad Francke

By 2016, almost 600 farmed species and/or species items had been reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), corresponding to 92 countries reporting to the UN. Such diversity of species constitutes the largest variety compared to any other species produced, including races.

Aquaculture production volumes have been increasing considerably, with a sustained 5% annual increment, resulting in the production of nearly 53% of total fish currently consumed worldwide. Capture diversity currently reports more than 1800 species that could be potentially farmed; a sea of possibilities for producers who every day look for new species of productive interest.

All over the world, aquaculture and marine research centers carry out research to control production cycles of those species of interest. Developing diets, replicating environmental conditions, and understanding behavior throughout the cycle are all key components of the research. However, until the in vitro reproduction of the species is achieved, the question of large-scale production viability still remains. 

Thanks to the technologies existing today, it is possible to advance more quickly in the domestication process, develop diets optimized for your requirements and then begin to select the best candidates to found later generations. For example, in terms of growth potential, genetic selection techniques allow us to confirm the existence of genetic markers or patterns that ensure better performing progeny. Additionally, it is now possible to identify individuals who grow faster than others by measuring metabolic rates within a population. When it comes to reproduction, existing technologies allow us to have a closer view on the quality of the milt and assess the success of fertilization. Even seasonality can be reduced using a photoperiod regime and milt cryopreservation.

In our field of technology development in fish reproduction (IMV Technologies), we have visited numerous aquaculture and marine research centers around the world and met bona fide experts on various species. These experts surprised us with studies that led to discovering key details of the productive cycles of new species, in turn generating the difference between seasonal capture and controlled cycle.  The ratio of females and males in a pond and the need of a 3 meter water column to allow the upstream reproductive dance are phrases that emotionally emerge from the mouths of scientists passionate about the species in which they work, hoping to make a complete productive cycle a reality.

The views expressed in IMV Technologies’ blog do not necessarily represent the views of the IMV Technologies Group but solely those of the blog post’s author