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Tuna Breeding gets Research Funding

MALTA - Malta's fish sector will receive 250,000 over the next three years to reach four objectives with regard to the development of the amberjack and blue fin tuna industry.

The money will be used to:
  • Build up the numbers of parent stock
  • Develop nutritional procedures for the stock
  • Gathering a sample of tuna eggs for analysis
  • Testing transportation of such eggs and find methods that prevent damage in transit
The European Union is contributing €3 million in view of these objectives. Resources and Rural Affairs Minister George Pullicino announced theprogrammee while accompanying the European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg and a European delegation on a tour of the fish exhibition and marine nursery at the Malta Centre for Fisheries Sciences (MCFS), Fort San Lucjan, Marsaxlokk.

According to the minister, the centre is gearing up for the Herculean task of breeding tuna, a feat achievedpreviouslyy only in Japan. The rearing of amberjacks (accjoli) and blue fin tuna is the MCFS’s latest attempt at diversifying the aquaculture industry that has until now focused on breeding sea bream (awrat) and sea bass (spnott).

Ten thousand juvenile amberjack were recently put into sea cages. Dr Robert Vassallo Agius is overseeing the project. He says the research is looking at the various aspects of breeding, such as nutrition, reproduction and handling of eggs. The project is being conducted in partnership between the government and the privately-owned Malta Fishfarming Ltd. It is now in its third year of a five-year agreement that could be extended a further five years.

Ellen Hardy

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