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Exploring the biological and socio-economic potential of new/emerging candidate fish species for the expansion of the European aquaculture industry
www.diversifyfish.eu/

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Acronym: DIVERSIFY
Period: 2013 till 2018
Status: In Progress

Abstract:
The European aquaculture is a modern industry employing 190,000 people, with a €7 billion ex-farm value. This sector is well situated to be among world leaders in the efficient and sustainable production of safe seafood of the highest quality and nutritional value, taking into account consumer preferences and the large diversity of aquatic products from the wild. DIVERSIFY identified a number of new/emerging finfish species, with a great potential for the expansion of the EU aquaculture industry. The emphasis is on Mediterranean or warm-water cage culture, but also addressed are cold-water, pond/extensive and fresh water aquaculture. These new/emerging species are fast growing and/or large finfishes, marketed at a large size and can be processed into a range of products to provide the consumer with both a greater diversity of fish species and new value-added products. DIVERSIFY focuses on meagre (Argyrosomus regius) and greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) for warm-water marine cage culture, wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) for warm- and cool-water marine cage culture, Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) for marine cold-water culture, grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) a euryhaline herbivore for pond/extensive culture, and pikeperch (Sanders lucioperca) for freshwater intensive culture using RAS. These species were selected based both on their biological and economical potential, and to cover the entire European geographic area and stimulate different aquaculture types. In collaboration with a number of SMEs, DIVERSIFY will build on recent/current national initiatives for species diversification in aquaculture, in order to overcome the documented bottlenecks in the production of these species. The combination of biological, technological and socioeconomic research planned in DIVERSIFY are expected to support the diversification of the aquaculture industry and help in expanding production, increasing aquaculture products and development of new markets.

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