The red porgy, Pagrus pagrus, is one of the most popular sparids in the Mediterranean region, and it is characterised by high price value (10.2 to 20.6 EURO/kg), highly appreciated flesh and good market perspectives. Fisheries supply is rather limited (4,022 t in 1995), suggesting an unsatisfied market demand and providing an opportunity for aquaculture (FAO, 1997). Red porgy express a high growth rate (higher than that of gilthead sea-bream, Sparus aurata), has a good adaptability to culture conditions and presents no serious disease problems. In addition, data on its reproductive biology, and information related to intensive farming requirements of this species are already available. Therefore, red porgy has been considered as a prime new species for aquaculture, and an ideal species for diversification of aquaculture production. Initial commercial trials have already been performed in fish farms in a variety of Mediterranean countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus). However, the main problem for moving towards commercial production, is the discoloration of skin observed in cultured fish. Red porgies fed formulated feeds exhibit a dark colour at the back and sides unlike wild specimens which have a pink and silver colour on the dorsolateral surface of the body with scattered blue spots. Rearing data have shown that juveniles captured from the wild or produced from semi-intensive (mesocosm) or intensive larval rearing, develop a dark skin coloration, within a 1-2 weeks period after transfer into the on-growing tanks or cages. Preliminary data on colour preservation (obtained from observations and experiments performed by the laboratories of our team) indicate that skin coloration in red porgy is under multiparametric control and a combination of physical, neuroendocrine, nutritional, and husbandry-related factors contribute to the development of natural hue in cultured populations.
|Effective start/end date||30/11/01 → 29/11/03|
- European Commission: €80,000.00