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Progression Towards Atlantic Bonito Domestication

SPAIN - The Atlantic bonito broodstock (Sarda sarda) at the marine culture plant in Mazarrn belonging to the Murcian Oceanographic Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) have begun to spawn viable eggs spontaneously, and researchers are rearing the third generation of individuals born in captivity, therefore continuing with the process of the domestication of this species.

Since last May, researchers at the IEO´s Murcian Oceangraphic Centre´s Marine Culture facilities in Mazarrón have been collecting tens of thousands of Atlantic bonito eggs (Sarda sarda) on daily basis which are being used to carry out the corresponding larval rearing.

Aurelio Ortega and Fernando de la Gándara, the researchers responsible for the project, who achieved the closing of the biological cycle of this species in captivity last year, are rearing the third generation born in captivity, another step forward in the process of the domestication of this species.

These research activities are integrated into the SELFDOTT project (From capture-base to self sustained aquaculture and domestication of bluefin tuna, (Thunnus thynnus) co-ordinated by the IEO and cofinanced by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. Although the main objective of this project is the bluefin tuna, the Atlantic bonito is considered as a model species in this project due to the fact that both species belong to the same family.

The Atlantic bonito is a teleost fish from the scombridae family, to which the bluefin tuna also belongs. This species, of undoubted commercial value, possesses an unusual particularity in the world of aquaculture: its individuals, both male and female, mature in the first year of life; the majority of species cultivated do so the third or fourth years of life.

The Oceanographic Centre of Murcia began working with Atlantic bonito in 2006 and after various promising experiments in reproduction and larvae cultivation, this species then became part of the objectives of the SELFDOTT project.

For further information on the SELFDOTT project: www.selfdott.org

the Fish Site Editor

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