MedAID presented at Spanish Aquaculture Day 2018

Aquaculture Day 2018 was celebrated on 26 November at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans with 35 participants from aquaculture companies (14),  academia (11), fisheries and aquaculture authorities (2) as well as 4 cluster and  professional network managers and MSc & Ph D Students.

The workshop began with the presentation of aquaculture and research projects in Catalonia: “Development of methods for stimulating sperm production in farmed Senegalese sole” (Dr. François Chauvigne), the European projects “Vivaldi”, “MedAID” (Dr. Dolors Furones) and “PerformFish” (Dr. Francesc Padrós) as well as “Development of seafood productions through co-creation projects ” (Dr.Luís Guerrero). The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion addressing keys to understanding the future of research in aquaculture.

Afterwards, the relationship between aquaculture and industry was dicussed in the round table “Experiences of innovative businesses of the Acuiplus Cluster” followed by some general conclusions.

Deliverable D5.2 – Report on market segmentation: Identification of market niches for different consumer profiles of fish products

Author/s: Violeta Stancu (Aarhus), Karen Brunsø (Aarhus), Irene Peral (AZTI), Elena Santa Cruz (AZTI), Begoña Alfaro (AZTI), Athanasios Krystallis (HCMR) and Luis Guerrero (IRTA)

The Mediterranean aquaculture industry is supplying steadily high volumes of fish. The development of new fish products for new customer segments can contribute to the expansion of the market and the long-term competitiveness of Mediterranean aquaculture.

The aim of the study reported in this deliverable (Deliverable 5.2) is to identify market segments, evaluate their potential for new fish product adoption and profile the key segments. In order to identify and profile consumer segments that are promising for new aquaculture fish products, data was collected in three European countries, Spain, Germany and France. Across the three countries, 1500 consumers answered a questionnaire and provided information regarding their food-related lifestyle, the frequency of buying and consuming fish, several psychological characteristics related to fish or aquaculture fish as well as socio-demographic characteristics.Continue reading

MedAID partners at the meeting of the STECF


Several MedAID partners have participated as invited experts in the meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) for the Economic Report of the EU Aquaculture sector (de EWG 18-19), JRC Ispra, 22 to 26 October 2018.

Rasmus Nielsen from the University of Copenhagen, and partner of MedAID, has chaired the meeting, which was also attended by the following MedAID partners:Jose Manuel Fernández-Polanco and Ignacio Llorente from the University of Cantabria, Maria Cozzolino from NISEA, Lamprakis Avdelas from Greece.

The objective of this Expert Working Group meeting is to prepare the 2018 report on the economic performance of the EU aquaculture sector, to analyse and comment on the economic performance of the EU and national aquaculture sectors between 2008 and 2016. It will include specific sections on employment (e.g.female/male employment and average salaries), economic performance contrasting different segments, and productivity/employee at EU level as well as a brief summary for each national chapter. The two main objectives for the 2018 exercise are to increase qualitative interpretation of all data outputs and to increase the usefulness of the report for DG MARE’s policy development as well as for Member States and the industry.

This aquaculture report is one of the main source for providing socio-economic analysis on the performance of the EU aquaculture industry. Different reports about Economic Analysis of European fleet, processing, and  aquaculture sectors can be found here, included the previous report  EU of the Aquaculture sector published in 2016, which reported for the period between 2008 and 2014.

Interview with the European parliamentarian Mr. Carlos Iturgaiz

We are interviewing Carlos Iturgaiz (Santurce, Vizcaya, Spain, 20th October 1965), a well-known Spanish People’s Party politician who, after a long career in the Basque Country, became an MEP in the European Parliament since 2004 and currently is Member of the Fisheries Committee.

Mr Iturgaiz has been responsible for coordinating and presenting the report “Towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector: current status and future challenges“, which was approved last 12 June 2018 by the Parliament as a non-legislative resolution by a large majority (605 votes out of a total of 673). In the H2020 project MedAID we are interested in this initiative, since one of the project’s work packages addresses issues related to the governance of the sector.

The newly approved report argues that the priority in the development of aquaculture in Europe is a sustainable food production, considering the need for different types of aquaculture products (marine and inland fish, molluscs, crustaceans and algae). The introduction of clear and homogeneous criteria for licensing across the EU, the implementation of common procedures to fight diseases, or the effective management of space are among the measures proposed to achieve this aim.Continue reading

FAO/GFCM Workshop on animal health and risk analysis in finfish aquaculture

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) established within the FAO with main objective to ensure the conservation and the sustainable use, at the biological, social, economic and environmental level, of living marine resources and the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea, organized a workshop on animal health and risk analysis in finfish aquaculture.

The workshop was held in Larnaca, Cyprus, on 3-4 October 2018 and gathered experts from more than 20 countries. The main objectives were, among others, to assess the current situation regarding early diagnostics in fish farms, regulation, capacity in diagnostics, control and prevention of diseases, epidemiological knowledge, governance and challenges for aquatic animal health.
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Health forum discussion on Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER)

Dates: 17-28 September 2018
Forum coordinator: Dr. Snježana Zrnčić, HVI. Zagreb, Croatia.
Discussion moderators:
Dr. Anna Toffan, IZSV, OIE Reference Laboratory for VER, Italy
Dr. Alain le Breton, VETEAU, France
Niccoló Vendramin, PhD student/Veterinarian, DTU-Aqua, Denmark

The discussion on Betanodavirus is the second topic addressed by the MedAID Health Forum, which is conceived as a platform to gather field diagnosticians, laboratories, relevant authorities in charge of disease management in the Mediterranean mariculture and other stakeholders.

Betanodavirus causes a disease known as Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER), also known as Viral Nervous Necrosis (VNN). Since its first description during the early nineties, the disease is now endemic in the Mediterranean Sea and it is considered the most important viral disease affecting farmed and wild marine species. Betanodaviruses have an extended host range, including sea bass, groupers, flatfish and drums but the species that suffer more from this disease in the Mediterranean is undoubtedly the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).Continue reading

Prophylactic measures against Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER) and vaccine development

The disease and the virus

Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy is a viral disease affecting more than 50 fish species, both wild and farmed (sea bass, grouper, sea bream, striped jack, flat fish etc.)(OIE, 2016). The disease causes neurological symptoms and increased mortalities. The disease occurrence has a seasonal pattern, with most outbreaks during the summertime, because of the higher temperatures of the water, which favors virus replication. Fish fry and larvae seem to be most susceptible, and in this age-group the disease can cause up to 100% mortality. Transmission of the disease can occur both horizontal (from fish to fish or equipment/feed to fish) and vertically associated (from brood stock to progeny), and the virus is very persistent in the environment, making spread with vectors (such as boats, feed and equipment) possible. As the name suggest, the disease manifest in the central nervous system causing histopathological necrosis in the brain and retina. Affected fish will either show clinical symptoms such as loss of buoyance control, spiral swimming pattern and darkening of the skin, or die before symptoms appear.Continue reading

Viral Encephalopathy and retinopathy

Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy (VER), also known as viral nervous necrosis (VNN), is a severe neuropathological disease caused by RNA viruses belonging to the Nodaviridae family, genus Betanodavirus. This infectious agent, detected in the early nineties, has rapidly spread worldwide becoming endemic and representing one of the most important limiting factors to the development of mariculture in several countries. Given the expanding host range and geographic diffusion, the disease has recently been included among the most significant viral pathogens of finfish.

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In the Spotlight: Carolina PEÑALOZA

i) What is your contribution to the MedAID project?
In the MedAID project I am part of the WP3 which is called ‘Genetics and Breeding’. The general objective of WP3 is to develop genomic technologies and techniques to improve selective breeding for improved performance of seabass and seabream fish. I work with Prof Ross Houston at Roslin, and we are collaborating with colleagues at NOFIMA on the creation of a combined-species (seabass-seabream) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. A SNP array is a technology that allows the high-throughput genotyping of tens of thousands of SNPs distributed throughout the genome in an individual of a species. To develop the SNP array, we will sequence the whole genome of several population samples from both seabass and seabream fish species. Molecular probes for these SNPs will then be placed on the array.Continue reading

SOFIA and Mediterranean Aquaculture

 

The name of Sofia has deep 2Mediterranean roots. Of Greek origin meaning “wisdom”, Sofia was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. Sofia is also a very popular girls’ name in many Western and Latin countries, as well as among partners of the MedAID H2020 Project. For many years, an actress (Sophia Loren) made us to believe that Sofia was a synonym of Mediterranean… beauty. More recently, Sophia has been used in Artificial Intelligence to name the world’s first robot declared a citizen by Saudi Arabia.

SOFIA is also the acronym of a well known report published every two years by FAO about The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.  The 2018 edition of SOFIA emphasizes the sector’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. As in past editions, SOFIA makes an analysis of the major trends and patterns observed in global fisheries and aquaculture, and it reviews new and upcoming topics and areas that need to be considered when managing aquatic resources. SOFIA 2018 is available in the five FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish). It can be downloaded here in PDF format, and for the first time in MOBI and E-PUB versions too.Continue reading