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IMPAQ - IMProvement of AQuaculture high quality fish fry production.
How to increase the reliability of copepods as live prey in Danish fish farms?
 
1. SUMMARY
IMPAQ aims at increasing the sustainability of the Danish marine aquaculture farms producing high value fish. IMPAQ is built on knowledge transfer and direct collaboration between fundamental and applied scientists and private enterprises (SMEs and industries). IMPAQ proposes to generate a body of strategic knowledge to improve international fish farming by developing advanced live-feed production. Solving a number of fundamental challenges and using an international strategic research platform in the aquaculture fish fry production sector, the concepts, tools, and products developed by the IMPAQ alliance will bring Danish aquaculture into the league of international top performers. IMPAQ will offer cultured high priced fish species and access to new species by producing fish fry of higher fitness, with an improved early age wellness. IMPAQ’s strategy is highly innovative and will lead to substantial improvements of the aquaculture industry with its inherent scientific, industrial and economic effects. Copepods represent an important
alternative food to present classical live feed organisms in marine fish hatcheries. Their use is known to improve survival, growth, and development of fish larvae. Copepods are exploited successfully in extensive systems in Taiwan and in Denmark. By reaching the critical mass of researcher needed to develop this food production area, IMPAQ will provide private partners with novel technical solutions and genetic improvements of copepod cultures. IMPAQ will optimize the conversion of co-existing organisms that have been considered as nuisance in copepod cultures into beneficial food components. IMPAQ will also develop an indoor turn-key system and challenge the limitations that high density generates. Finally, IMPAQ will include an economic assessment of the use of copepods in fish farms and will devote substantial energy into PhD and Post-doc training.
 
2. Objectives
Increasing the success of Danish aquaculture requires a multi-string strategy supporting already existing productions and development of new target species. IMPAQ will secure future marine fish fry production by innovating copepod culture systems. In many cases alitrical fish larvae require live prey before weaning and are mostly reared on enriched rotifers and Artemia sp., which are often inadequate. This causes multimillion € losses to marine aquaculture1 in Europe while research has clearly shown the superiority of copepods. Copepods are already in use in some fish farms and research projects on how to increase productivity are often just by replacement of food items. IMPAQ plans to use a radical innovation strategy by completing the following: studying infochemistry that is limiting the intensification of copepod cultures; genetic selection of copepods for intensive cultivation; bio-transformation (trophic upgrading) of co-existing microbes and phytoplankton into food; improvement of indoor and outdoor cultivation systems; economic evaluation/modeling of the use of copepods in fry production; and a full transfer of the knowledge/technologies to private partners.
 
3. Main results of the project
The results of the project will be as follows:
• The complete ability to control food availability and optimal feeding including the control of pathogen outbreak in effective, intensive, indoor and semi-extensive outdoor  copepod production systems.
• The production of manuals providing clear advice for fish farmers using copepods.
• The development of technology to produce turn-key production systems for Danish firms and for the export market.
• The development of company producing copepods at industrial scale.
• An holistic analysis of scientific, industrial and economic perspectives on copepod production.
• The establishment of a robust, long lasting research alliance based on internationally recognized Danish copepod researchers, consultants and fish producers collaborating
within a wide international network.
• The development of cutting edge scientific knowledge, which will establish Denmark as the reference country in this field of research as well as put Danish SME’s in the world
leading position in the use of copepods as live prey for cost effective fish fry production.
Training of a PhD ready for transfer to the private sector, and Post Doc’s for career development as researchers and advisors in public institutions.
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