The hatchery of the Institute includes a plankton production lab where phytoplankton and zooplankton is cultured.
Starting from precultures, microalgae biomass is produced in bioreactors. The main species cultured is marine Chlorella but Tetraselmis and T-iso are also frequently used.
The zooplankton used are the rotifer Brachionus sp and the branchiopod Artemia sp. Standard culture facilities allow the production of the required amounts.
The larval rearing is performed applying both semi-intensive and intensive methods.
A Mesocosm hatchery is operated applying semi-intensive methods, with 6x40m3 tanks for acquiring basic biological information of the studied species.
The Mesocosm hatchery serves for high quality production of E. seabass and g. seabream juveniles.
An intensive hatchery is operated mostly for experiments.
The facility includes, 8 closed water systems of 2×500 l tanks and 3 closed water systems of 3×2000 l tanks. The main applied method is the pseudo-green water rearing.
Feeding is performed using an automated system developed at the lab.
The hatchery includes also a pre-growing zone with 18x10m3 tanks (photo: Pre-growing tanks 1; Juveniles).
The species under study are the E. seabass, the gilthead seabream, the greater amberjack and the meagre, while studies on the bluefin tuna, the atlantic bonito, the wreckfish and several members of the sparidae family have been also implemented in the frame of national and EU projects.
The facility serves research for the definition of species specific hatchery methodologies with emphasis on the optimal environmental parameters (light, tank hydrodynamics) and the feeding requirements of the larvae.
Recently our studies resulted in the definition of husbandry practice for the rearing of greater amberjack within the Diversify project. This activity is further developed today in the frame of, the “Greater amberjack” project.
The effect of larval rearing on the subsequent performance of the fish represent a major objective of the activity. Today, the facility is used for implementing research within “Performfish” to study the effect of early
temperature regime in the performance of E. seabass and the gilthead seabream.