Proposal for a Breeding and Reproduction Aquaculture Network
Registrations received up to now:
• Industry: 51
• Academics: 74
During the AquaBreeding-ReproFish workshop held in Paris (1-3 October, 2008), a proposal was made to create a pilot Network bringing together the European aquaculture industry and academics active in the fields of breeding and reproduction. The objective of the Network is to strengthen the capacity of innovation of the European aquaculture industry in the above areas.
Today, the European Technology Platforms (ETPs), which are driven by the industry, represent a great opportunity for the production sectors to define their research priorities and be proactive in the implementation of strategic research programmes. For the aquaculture sectors involved in breeding and reproduction activities, the frameworks of reference are represented by the Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Technology Platform (www.fabretp.org) and the European Aquaculture Technology & Innovation Platform (www.eatip.eu). Since both platforms are dealing with similar issues, strong interactions between the respective working groups are desirable to get a comprehensive view of the industrial needs and ensure a coherent research and development strategy. In this context, the proposed Network becomes the best support to link effectively and in a credible way the two platforms.
The Network will adopt a multi-stakeholder approach, gathering representatives of breeding companies, hatcheries, research organisations, genotyping and biotech reproduction companies or consultancy firms active in the above fields. As the development of genomic tools is expected to bring great benefits to the aquaculture sector, in particular opening up new possibilities in the fields of breeding and reproduction, the Network will also include research organisations active in genomics. To initiate the process, we suggest that the management of the Network be delegated to the following persons:
Kari KOLSTAD (NOFIMA, Norway)
Ashie NORRIS (Marine Harvest Ireland, Ireland)
Pierrick HAFFRAY (SYSAAF, France)
Hans KOMEN (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
Constantinos MYLONAS (HCMR, Greece)
Geir Lasse TARANGER (IMR, Norway)
Neil DUNCAN (IRTA, Spain)
Zsigmond JENEY (HAKI, Hungary)
Patrick PRUNET (INRA, France)
Antonio FIGUERAS (CSIC, Spain)
To begin, as the proposed Network will operate on a voluntary basis, the activities will be limited to 4 levels:
• Define research priorities:
Amongst the primary tasks of ETPs are the definition of a Strategic Research Agenda fitting with the industrial priorities and, as a final outcome, the implementation of this Agenda. To support these objectives the Network will:
- Delineate the research needs for the industry on a yearly basis
- Rank the different proposals in order to "validate" them
- Transmit the ranked priorities to the EC through ETPs
- Instigate proactive measures to implement the ETPs’ research agenda
• Organise applied training courses:
Breeding, reproduction and genomics are rapidly evolving areas highly dependent on research findings. Training is thus essential to guarantee the continuous update of knowledge in the industry. The Network will set-up training sessions in the above fields for the industry personnel.
As a first activity of the network, we propose a new course on "Design of breeding programs in aquaculture".
• Perform an industrial survey on breeding practices every second year:
Today, European aquaculture breeding is a small and varied economic sector, showing a clear trend of development across species and countries but still missing of visible contour. The Network will adapt the questionnaire to the specific needs of commercial breeding organisations and use it to update the survey on breeding practices every two years.
• Disseminate information and enhance interactions through a dedicated website:
Critical scientific and technical information related to breeding, reproduction and genomics are continuously produced but are often not adequately applied due to a lack of readability of released data and limited transfer opportunities. The proposed Network, gathering users and suppliers of knowledge, constitutes a unique opportunity to move in the right direction providing the following services:
- Link, gather and release technical documents related to breeding, reproduction and genomics in aquaculture
- Set-up an exchange area for knowledge transfer and projects build-up
- Dedicate a specific space to services providers
- Deliver the list of stakeholders
- Communicate in order to assure consumer acceptance of new
Now, the emergence of such a Network depends on the expressions of interest we will receive. If you want to bring your support to the present initiative, we invite you to connect to the web page www.aquabreeding.eu/feedback.aspx and to sign-up to the Proposal for a Breeding and Reproduction Aquaculture Network.
The launch of the Network or the suspension of the initiative will be determined by the number of registrations received within January 2009.