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Aquaculture Scientific Program

IRTA’s Aquaculture Program (AP) operates from IRTA – Sant Carles de la Ràpita, a research centre equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for fish, crustacean, shellfish, live prey and microalgae culture and sophisticated research laboratories (analytical chemistry, biochemistry, pathology, histology, cell culture, molecular biology and microscopy). The centre is located in the southern bay of the Ebro River Delta (Tarragona, Spain).


Marine Monitoring subprogram (MMsp)

Marine environment and food safety: study of aquatic toxins, antropogenic contaminants and bacteria, and their importance in the ecosystems and their impact on public health and aquaculture.

  • Development of methods for aquatic toxin detection: analytical, biochemical, toxicological approaches and biosensor development.
  • Identification and characterization of toxins and bioactive compounds in water, microalgae and food.
  • Field work: phytoplankton and toxins in coastal ecosystems.
  • Monitoring programme for the quality of waters in shellfish harvesting areas: toxins, anthropogenic contaminants, microbiology

Aquatic Culture Subprogram (ACsp)

Focused on the aquaculture sector, particularly in feed and additives producers, fish farm design, fishermen’s and shell fishermen’s associations, and governmental agencies. Working with fish, molluscs and crustaceans in the following areas of research:

  • Reproduction (Hormonal induction, Fish behaviour, Endocrinology, Cryopreservation of gametes).
  • Larval rearing of aquatic animals.
  • Nutrition (Nutritional Requirements, Nutrients and Skeletal and pigmentation deformations, Weaning and Ongrowing diets).
  • Health of molluscs and fish (Bacterial diseases, Parasites, Epidemiology).
  • Engineering (Recirculation –IRTAmar™- and Disinfection -ozone-).