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Since November 2012, ISPRA is one of the 22 partners of the EU sponsored AquaTrace project, aiming at "the development of tools for tracing and evaluating the genetic impact of fish from aquaculture".
AquaTrace focuses on the most reared finfish species in Europe: Atlantic salmon, brown trout, European sea bass, turbot and gilthead sea bream. The project aims at providing new, forensically validated, DNA based tools to identify the origin of wild and farmed fish and to detect interbreeding between farmed and wild stocks. These molecular tools will help breeders, ongrowers, environmental managers and scientists.
The project is also identifying the locations in fish genomes which are responsible for the physiological and life-history differences we observe between wild and cultured fish. Based on the scientific insights a risk assessment and management recommendations concerning the genetic impact of aquaculture fish on wild fish gene pools, will be also provided.
In order to assure a prosperous and sustainable future for European aquaculture, this molecular approach is nowadays essential. Once forensically validated, the developed markers will help in:
Supporting the aquaculture industry (breeding programs and domestication processes)
Environmental monitoring under EU or National legislation
Development of guidelines and good practice recommendations
Risk assessment approach and environmental sustainability of aquaculture
Certification and traceability
Detection of seafood frauds and market control
Increasing knowledge on wild populations
To know more about the project, and to follow all the latest news, please visit the web site , the Facebook page and the Twitter account