23 March 2015

Cultured fish for human consumption

The project ensures that low-value products (fish feed) are converted into healthy food through sustainable aquaculture and that waste products from the production of bioethanol in Brazil are reused as valuable bioactive substances.

Globally, aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal food sector and today half of the world´s consumption of fish originates from aquaculture (FAO Report 2010).

Aquaculture facilities in São Paulo and Denmark differ with respect to fish species and breeding practices but issues that negatively impact fish production are similar at both locations: 

  • Intensive fish breeding enhances the risk of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Several fish infections have zoonotic potential and may affect human health.
  • Microbes produce off-flavours that penetrate the fish and make them unattractive.
  • Dense fish stocks may promote the growth of fish-killing toxic microbes by eutrophication.

In this interdisciplinary project, we will apply state-of-the-art methods to address these issues.

Sustainable and competitive fish production through research

The scientific aim of this project is to improve fish production by addressing and providing solutions to current impediments to the aquaculture industry.

Specifically, we will improve the quality of Nile tilapia produced in cages in hydroelectric reservoirs in São Paulo and of rainbow trout from systems with water recirculation in Denmark. To do so: 

  • Fish health will be monitored by classical and molecular approaches and will be improved by modulation of the innate immune responses by bioactive β-glucans.
  • Water quality parameters, i.e. bacterial communities, and toxin- and off-flavour producing microbes, will be related to the health and growth of the fish.

Based on these findings, general health control programs will be proposed for Danish and Brazilian fish farmers.

Aquaculture facilities in São Paulo and Denmark differ with respect to fish species and breeding practices but issues that negatively impact fish production are similar at both locations.

Original title: IMProved quality of cultured fish for human CONsumption - IMPCON

Start date: April 2014

End date: January 2018

The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Food grant: 191,200 DKK

Total grant: 4,925,000 DKK