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TROMSO, Norway

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-07 | Award Amount: 6.06M | Year: 2011

COPEWELL aims to provide a better understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and basic knowledge about the physiology, biology, and behaviour of fishes and to give a deeper understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in coping styles. We will use an innovative hypothesis-driven multidisciplinary approach that aims to explore the links between brain function, behaviour and adaptive plasticity (WPs 1 and 2). Underlying mechanisms will be addressed by localising key elements of the stress-responsive serotonergic and learning and memory systems in the telencephalon, and for the first time also analyse rates of brain cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and expression of genes controlling other aspects of brain function, as learning and memory, in fish expressing different coping styles. The project will also focus on the understanding of how animals experience their world, based on appraisal theory and experimental studies of appraisal mechanisms in farmed fish, and not simply on the description of animal behaviour or stress responses (WP2 Appraisal). COPEWELL will further study the ontogeny of brain function and neuroendocrine stress responses in the call species Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and sea bream (Sparus aurata), and will provide new insights on the interrelations between different relevant husbandry practices, plasticity of brain function and stress response during early ontogeny. COPEWELL will explore potential consequences of early life stress experiences on the welfare and quality of juvenile fish, substantiate the concept of allostatic stress regulation in fish and determine thresholds between eustress that are considered positive for welfare and distress that can have severe negative consequences for fish welfare as: it will attempt to discriminate between normal adaptive stress responses and situations of potential consequence to animal welfare, in relation to different relevant husbandry practices and rearing methods (WP3Allostasis and WP4 Ontogeny). The expected impact the COPEWELL project is to deepen our knowledge on the development of the brain function, behaviour and stress response in relation to the different husbandry practises and rearing methods. It will also serve to define how short or long episodes of stress during the early life affect the welfare and quality of juveniles and adult fish (WPs 3 & 4). It will significantly contribute in providing and extending the knowledge basis for the development of tools such as new individual-based indicators for a better assessment of fish welfare, e.g. by identifying and verifying non-invasive indicators of coping styles. Perhaps most important, COPEWELL will provide a new framework, based on evolutionary principles and an understanding of subjective experience of welfare as an evolved survival mechanism, making welfare available for scientific inquiry.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-1 | Award Amount: 14.85M | Year: 2011

The Arctic is engaged in a deep climatic evolution. This evolution is quite predictable at short (year) and longer scales (several decades), but it is the decadal intermediate scale that is the most difficult to predict. This is because the natural variability of the system is large and dominant at this scale, and the system is highly non linear due to positive and negative feedback between sea ice, the ocean and atmosphere. Already today, due to the increase of the GHG concentration in the atmosphere and the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, the impacts of climate change in the region are apparent, e.g. in the reduction in sea ice, in changes in weather patterns and cyclones or in the melting of glaciers and permafrost. It is therefore not surprising that models clearly predict that Artic sea ice will disappear in summer within 20 or 30 years, yielding new opportunities and risks for human activities in the Arctic. This climatic evolution is going to have strong impacts on both marine ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic. This in turn has large socio-economic implications for Europe. ACCESS will evaluate climatic impacts in the Arctic on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of hydrocarbons for the next 20 years; with particular attention to environmental sensitivities and sustainability. These meso-economic issues will be extended to the macro-economic scale in order to highlight trans-sectoral implications and provide an integrated assessment of the socio-economic impact of climate change. An important aspect of ACCESS, given the geostrategic implication of Arctic state changes, will be the consideration of Arctic governance issues, including the framework UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea). ACCESS dedicates a full work package to integrate Arctic climate changes, socioeconomic impacts and Arctic governance issues.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2010

In 2005 the total world production of sea bass reached 80,000 tons. The estimated amount of feed used to support this production was 150,000 tons valued at about 100 million. Notwithstanding the increase in production, producers profit margins are squeezed by i) the increase in price of feed ingredients, and ii) the decline/instability of fish prices. Feed costs account for up to 60% of total production costs and inappropriate feeding management can therefore be detrimental to farmers profits. Optimal feed management includes the use of well balanced feeds covering the species nutritional and energy requirements and cost efficient feeding regimes. The large variation amongst generally poor industrial feed conversion ratios (FCR) obtained in European sea bass farming is a clear indication of inappropriate feeding. This project is a joint effort between European aquaculture stakeholders targeting the accurate determination of the basic nutritional requirements of sea bass throughout the production cycle and best practices in feeding regimes and technology in order to achieve a significant reduction in production FCR values. Specifically, the optimum dietary protein and energy levels which are crucial parameters for effective feed formulation will be determined for European sea bass and evaluated on the farm using the latest demand feeding technology. These requirements will be studied in relation to the main influencing biotic and abiotic factors which are fish size, diet composition, feeding level and frequency, water temperature and oxygen levels. The cost efficient use of diets with formulations targeting the specific seasonal and developmental needs of the fish will effectively improve production FCR and have a significant economic benefit for aquaculturists. Optimising feed utilization efficiency, fish growth, health and welfare besides promoting production efficiency and economy will also have a significantly positive environmental impact.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2007-3-01 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2008

The Faculty of Agriculture (FA) University of Belgrade is the leading institution that ensures research and HE in aquaculture in Serbia. The existing research team in the field of aquaculture covers main aspects of fish production using a multidisciplinary approach for sustainable development. ROSA intends to contribute to development of Serbia and WB aquaculture by reinforcing this existing expertise. The project proposal builds on complementary collaboration in several existing international & national projects and aims to increase human and research potential to improve production results in carp culture, the species widely cultured in WB. Increase in carp production will be realized through: better quality of the added food and feeding dynamics; development of carp selection; and reduction of water pollution. When nutrition is concerned, increasing carp production in semiintensive system (SI) is based on utilization of natural food from the pond in periods of its abundance, and replacement when it is in deficit by quality feed. Substitution of cereals, the main added food in the SI, with extruded feed contributes to better production results and reduction of pollution on fish farms. FA will develop research in selective breeding of carp by using recent methods applied in the selection of salmonids, with the know-how of country experienced in carp selection. Modern research methods and new equipment are missing in Serbia and in all WB countries although they are basis for the development of carp culture. Human potential of the FA and its sustainability will be increased by training scientists in EU labs. Acquisition and transfer of new knowledge will be done through trainings, and exchange visits of experts. ROSA will help in implementation of EU policy in quality and safety standard in both aquaculture and environmental area. In order to disseminate project results FA will organize international meetings and publish in scientific journals and other media.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.11 | Award Amount: 11.85M | Year: 2011

AQUAEXCEL will coordinate the highest class European aquaculture research facilities covering the entire range of production systems (recirculation, flow-through, cage, hatchery and pond systems), environments (freshwater and marine, cold and warm water), scales (small, medium and industrial scale), fish species (salmon, trout, sea bass, sea bream, cod, carp), and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health and welfare, genetics, monitoring and management technologies and engineering). AQUAEXCEL will: - Link and coordinate key research infrastructures in Europe: cage, recirculation and hatchery aquaculture systems, land and sea based, fresh and salt water installations in order to create the basis for synergistic research projects - Provide research teams with access to a wide range of the state-of-the-art infrastructures covering all important aquaculture species, systems, environments and expertises - Increase resource sharing and standardization between partners, notably but not exclusively for fish models and experimental methods developed in-house - Stimulate innovation through transfer of knowledge, harmonisation and development of best practices across fields of research, production systems and species - Execute joint research and development activities designed to improve the services currently provided by the infrastructures (remote access and monitoring, more accurate performance evaluation, limitation of live animals use, applicability of results at industry scale, development of biological models). - Bridge the gap between the scientific community and the industry through stimulation of problem-based research and enhanced knowledge transfer AQUAEXCEL will facilitate a coherent development of the aquaculture research facilities for which there is a strong demand from the public and private sectors of aquaculture research, which have to work towards sustainable production of high quality seafood with reduced environmental impact.

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