AquaBreeding Project title: “Towards enhanced and sustainable use of genetics and breeding in the European aquaculture industry”

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Environmentally friendly

As much of aquaculture production relies on non-native animals or native species often characterized by more homogeneous and often reduced genetic variability, escapees are a constant biodiversity concern. Genetic impacts of escapees on wild populations will be assessed and measures to restrict its occurrence will be implemented (sterilisation, local strain, domestication).

The culture systems evolve together with the breeding process so that selected animals are continuously getting adapted to their new farming environment. The high priority put on nutrition research to replace fishmeal components with alternative non-marine ingredients will conduce to the rapid development of new aqua-feeds. Such a disruption of rearing techniques will reinforce efforts to select for strains adapted to new feeds, thus contributing to reduce the volume of fishery commodities for aquaculture use and alleviate the fishing pressure.

Farming operations release nutrients in waste and then have an impact on surrounding environment. The aquaculture effluents fuel conflicts for space use, in particular with tourism development. Moreover, aqua-feed accounts for the highest portion of the farming production costs. In this context, selection for feed efficiency is regarded as an important trait for cultured fish, as more efficient animals are expected to grow on less feed and produce less waste.

Genetic resistance provides environmentally friendly protection against infectious diseases. Improving genetic disease resistance is attractive because of its prospects of prolonged protection. It allows the producer to dedicate less resources to chemical medications and at the same time increases profitability due to higher survival. The general welfare of animals is improved, less drugs are released in the environment and it is a safe prevention method for the consumer. Advances in genomics and proteomics will offer new opportunities to optimise this kind of genetic resistance. Identifying new gene sources for resistance and developing strategies based on QTLs identification will be widespread.

  • Socially acceptable

Societal benefits expected from breeding are closely linked to the tuning and adapting of breeding practices with society values. This essential condition of social responsibility of breeding supports a better balance between market and non-market value traits. Putting emphasis on consumers demands in the breeding goals definition (product quality, safety, animal welfare, traceability …) will further contribute to the maintenance of a competitive and distinctive European aquaculture industry. Such a strategy represents a big challenge as it will depend on our ability to value social, ecological and ethical aspects in monetary terms (Olesen et al., 2000).

Very little is known today about welfare and sentience of aquaculture species. Efforts have been made to reduce the stress factors in rearing conditions through a better understanding of the underlying physiological, behavioural and endocrine mechanisms, with a view to optimise husbandry techniques. The identification and selection of genetic traits linked to animal behaviour and animal welfare will represent a complementary approach to increase stress tolerance of farmed animals. Moreover, as aquaculture species have been recently domesticated, it is expected that fish will become better adapted to farming conditions through breeding. Ultimately, traceability of products has become a specific request of consumers, sustained by national and European policies. The combination of selective breeding and molecular markers will offer opportunities to support quality plans aimed at monitoring the origin of aquaculture products.

The characteristics of markets of aquaculture products are highly variable, depending on their origin and destination: intensive/organic production systems, regional/national/worldwide distribution, protected designation of origin and other quality labels, fresh/chilled/processed products. Such diversity will be taken into consideration when setting the breeding goals of a program.

Selective breeding is a knowledge intensive sector that works in sensitive ethical areas, raising the question of societal acceptance. The development of innovative breeding strategies will be achieved through the use of tools and methods in tune with society’s ethics. While selective breeding clearly provides a basis for the improvement of productivity, quality and sustainability of aquaculture species, clarity needs to be established on the value and application of genetic engineering (i.e. production of transgenic fish, modified with foreign DNA) in aquaculture, due to the high sensitivity of the consumer and society to this topic. However, technology like gene transfer may solve problems intractable otherwise, in particular conferring resistance to viral pathogens through DNA vaccination. A transparent process of dialogue that informs the public on the benefits and risks of such approaches will be initiated, while the already existing European code of good practices for sustainable breeding (Code-EFABAR, 2005) will need to be endorsed by the sector.

How to reach the goals ?
What is needed to succeed in the development of a successful EU breeding industry ?

  • Rejuvenation of the sector image

Breeding activities need to promote the shaping of a positive image of the aquaculture industry: healthy and clean producer of aquatic products at one with the natural environment.

  • Proactive policy for the industry

A strong and vibrant EU aquaculture sector supported by a clear commitment of EU and Member States towards the development of aquaculture.

Higher investment of the aquaculture sector in breeding facilities and technology sustained by a coordination of actions and investments.

  • A well focussed applied and basic research

Aiming to improve production efficiency and competitiveness while respecting societal demands.

Implementation of research programmes in close collaboration with EU industry.

Sustain EU research excellence in livestock breeding and reproduction, including aquaculture.

  • A well trained staff at industry & research levels

Development of in-house personnel within the industry and consultancy services specialized in breeding.

Breeding is a rapidly evolving sector requiring continuous update of the knowledge. Training sessions organized on a yearly basis should be proposed.

AquaBreeding survey: Survey on the Breeding Practices in the European aquaculture industry, 2009. [Online]. Available: [Accessed January 2009].
Code-EFABAR: Code of Good Practice for Farm Animal Breeding Organisations, 2005. [Online]. Available: [Accessed January 2009].
FAO publications 2007. The state of world fisheries and aquaculture 2006, ISBN 978-92-5-105568-7, pp 162.
FAO report, 2008. Status and important recent events concerning international trade in fishery products. Committee on fisheries, sub-committee on fish trade, Eleventh Session, Bremen, Germany, 2-6 June 2008, pp9.
GLITNIR Seafood Research, EU Seafood Industry Report. April 2008, pp 21.
Olesen I., Groen A.F. and Gjerde B., 2000. Definition of animal breeding goals for sustainable production systems. J. Anim. Sci. 78, 570–582.
Quillet E., Le Guillou S., Aubin J., Labbé L., Fauconneau B. and Médale F., 2007. Response of a lean muscle and a fat muscle rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) line on growth, nutrient utilization, body composition and carcass traits when fed two different diets. Aquaculture 269, 220–231.
Storset, A., Strand, C., Wetten, M., Kjoglum, S., Ramstad, A., 2007. Response to selection for resistance against infectious pancreatic necrosis in Altantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture 272 S1, S62-S68.
Vandeputte M., Dupont-Nivet M., Haffray P., Chavanne H., Cenadelli S., Parati K., Vidal M.O., A. Vergnet and B. Chatain, 2009. Response to domestication and selection for growth in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in separate and mixed tanks. Aquaculture 286, 20-27.

    1. Definition of the industrial research priorities

Based on the knowledge gaps, the industrial research priorities have been defined from an extended list (50 topics) built on the following pillars: (1) market-value traits, (2) health and welfare traits, (3) reproduction, (4) breeding schemes efficiency, (5) sex control, (6) genetic resources and banking, (7) social and knowledge transfer issues.

The resulting prioritization table, distributed among the project partners and on the occasion of the final workshop, has been ranked from the poll of 48 responses received, half of which were from the industry.

The 4 top priorities have been written as call text to be submitted to EC services and ETPs working groups for future calls. The extended list will serve as memorandum for the research prioritization works to come within the platforms and the proposed Network.
All the project’s partners contributed to the Deliverable 4.
The work performed is presented in the Deliverable 4.


Prioritization Table
Call Text Of The 5 Top Breeding Research Priorities



Please, precise your activity:

Fish breeder

Shellfish breeder

Aquaculture breeding consultant




Scoring system: 10 scores over all categories, from 1 to 10, 1 for the first priority and 10 for the last priority






Quantitative genetics: growth



VISION: Shortening the time to harvest through growth improvement



Assessment of the economical impact of selection for growth. Extension to main selected traits and systems (including shellfish and pond fish)



Study of the growth curve shape, estimation of the genetic component of allometry



Estimate the negative impact of growth






Quantitative genetics: feed efficiency



VISION: Increased and best utilisation of new feeds



Estimate the genetic basis for feed efficiency, nutrient retention, amount of slaughter waste or by product and meat quality on animal and non-animal diets during different life-stages of the fish (from fry to slaughter).



Individual measurement of the food conversion rate






Quantitative genetics: correlated responses



VISION: correlated responses known to avoid unfavourable side effects



Identification of correlation between productive, disease resistance and welfare traits



Better understanding the physiology of correlated traits



Estimation of the correlated response on polyploids



Development of predictors based on correlated traits






Quantitative genetics: Quality traits



VISION: Knowledge on the genetic basis of quality traits for breeding



Development of tools for non-destructive, rapid, low-cost, and high resolution measurements of meat quality (fat%, pigmentation, texture, muscle size of bivalves)



Estimation of the genetic basis of (new) quality traits: shelf-life, toxin content, gaping (fish), nutritional value







Quantitative genetics: robustness, plasticity and welfare



VISION: More robust animals capable to adapt to changing environments



Implementation of indicators (direct and indirect) and conditions in which such traits are assessed



Estimation of the genetic variation of the indicators











Quantitative genetics: disease resistance



VISION: Improved genetic resistance, reduced use of drugs



Development of efficient tools to introduce disease resistance in breeding programs (molecular, genomics)



Characterisation of the individual phenotyping of disease (in particular for shellfish)



Understanding the genetic basis of disease resistance and the host-pathogen interaction mechanisms (more focus on marine fish and shellfish)








Reproduction for breeding



VISION: Mass spawning control and artificial fertilisation for all species



Assessment and improvement of egg quality. Stages: pre-induction (female synchronisation) to first feeding.



Cryopreservation and short-term conservation of ovules (all species)



Enable the mass spawning for new species






Quantitative genetics: reproduction precocity, fertility, gametes parameters



VISION: Avoid early sexual maturation before harvesting



Identification of the genetic basis of reproduction traits, correlation with production traits



Monitoring of fecundity and fertility traits







Quantitative genetics: GxE interactions



VISION: assessment of the G x E effects and conditions in which they become too strong



Enhancement of the strain testing in different environments



Identification of environmental (geographic scale) and farming conditions (water quality, feed and feeding practices, T°C regime…) having an effect



Estimation of the temporal GxE effects (from hatchery stages and beyond)






Evaluation of the selection response and economic return



VISION: Implementation of the evaluation of the selection response



Develop methods of evaluation: nb of families/individuals, sanitary constraints, site selection, control lines, cryopreservation. Certification procedures for distinctness between commercial strains



Economic estimation of the breeding progress






Optimisation of selection methods for aquaculture breeding populations



VISION: Development of breeding strategies adapted to the different types of companies



Optimisation by simulation taking into account the biological characteristics (reproductive, ploidy) and the size of the company.



Development and implementation of novel selection methods for aquaculture breeding populations (e.g. line/cross breeding, selection programs with control on the rates of inbreeding, MAS/GAS/genomic selection methods, evaluation of challenge test data and life-history traits).




















Molecular genomic tools for breeding: parentage assignment, MAS / QTLs, genomic selection



VISION: Full genome sequence and cost-effective use of molecular tools



Development of new tools (markers + software) for parentage assignment (including new species)



Obtaining the full genome sequence and annotation on economically most importatn species, development of SNPs chips



Identification of QTLs and eQTLs






Protection strategies of selected material



VISION: Owner right on selected material



Development of genetic and other traceability methods



Implementaion of cross breeding, sterilisation and other strategies aimed at protecting the genetic gain



Review and update the legal framework on owner rights





Chromosome manipulation: sterilisation and triploidisation



VISION: Limited environmental impact using sterile fish. Combination of selective breeding and polyploidy on shellfish



Performance evaluation of triploids in commercial conditions (in particular in cages)



Integration of breeding results on polyploids



Optimisation of methods and alternative approaches to obtain sterilisation



Physiological process associated with polyploidy






Sex determination



VISION: Control of the sex-ratio for breeding strategies and production objectives



Identification of sex determinism and markers for sex (phenotypic and molecular) at early stage, for all species



Physiological basis of the sex determinism



Manipulation of sex ratio through alternative methods (excluding hormones)







VISION: conserve and charaterise wild and captive populations



Development of methods to preserve diploid cells to complement gametes cryopreservation. Setting-up of cryobank of wild and captive aquaculture populations



Charaterise wild and captive resources to better target conservation efforts and optimize breeding programs



Development of methods to value/introgress wild genetic resources into selected populations





Social requests in relation to breeding goals and impacts. Non-market value traits



VISION: Sustainable (economic, social and environmental) breeding programs



Introduction of welfare traits in breeding programs as a request from the citizen



Evaluation of the genetic impact of escapees from aquaculture on wild populations



Development of techniques to minimise environmental impact (in particular, sterile fish and shellfish)

















Public acceptance/perception of breeding methods and technologies



Investigate on the public perception of breeding methods / genetic selection concept






Knowledge transfer: interface between research and production, training



VISION: Shortening distance between research and industry



Demonstration of breeding efficiency



Training of the industry personnel









Note on GMO: out of the question today, aware of a potential in the long-term





















Thank you for your time and cooperation

Call texts for the 4 top priorities

1. “Estimate the genetic basis for feed efficiency, nutrient retention, amount of slaughter waste or by product and meat quality on animal and non-animal diets during different life-stages of the fish (from fry to slaughter)”.

Genetic improvement of biological efficiency (feed efficiency, nutrient retention and slaughter traits) by selection means that more output (commercial product and return) is obtained with the same level of input (feed and investment). Increased efficiency also contributes to reduced nutrient load from aquaculture. Feed industry is increasingly replacing fishmeal in feeds with non-animal proteins, such as plant-based meals. This typically reduces efficiency, quality and chemical composition of flesh. However, none of the current aquaculture breeding programmes selects directly for improved feed efficiency. Slaughter traits are typically recorded from slaughtered sibs of the breeding candidates, preventing breeders to use the most efficient selection methods. Moreover, we lack information on the genetic potential to improve efficiency and quality on non-animal feeds.

The project shall develop non-destructive methods, including genomic tools based on DNA markers, to record life-long feed efficiency, slaughter traits and quality from thousands of individuals. The project shall also estimate the potential for the genetic improvement of the traits on both animal and non-animal diets, and their relation to animal health traits. To prove the usefulness of the selection tools developed, the project shall estimate the impact of alternative selection strategies on profit and nutrient load.

Expected outcomes:

-Direct or indirect selection methods for improving life-long biological efficiency (feed efficiency, nutrient retention, slaughter traits, yields) by selective breeding.

-Knowledge on the impact of genetically increased biological efficiency on animal health and reproduction, and solutions to reduce potential harmful effects.

-Selection methods for avoiding the negative impact of novel non-animal feed on efficiency, quality and potential genotype-by-diet interactions.

-Estimates of economical and ecological benefits of the methods developed.

2. “Development of efficient tools to introduce disease resistance in breeding programs (molecular, genomics), general testing and practical challenge tests”.

Disease threats pose the greatest impediment to the success of aquaculture programs at the present time. Unlike terrestrial animals, aquaculture species are generally farmed in the wild environment where little or no separation is possible from external pathogens. The converse is also true in that pathogens from farmed species pass to the environment and wild native species causing infection and disease. Financial losses due to disease are difficult or impossible for the industry to predict from year to year and are also sometimes devastating from a health and welfare perspective.

Vaccination has had mixed success in eradicating disease from aquaculture species; greater with bacterial pathogens and less with viral and parasitic pathogens. Therapeutic medication is not possible for all diseases or species due to the nature of the farming environment. Breeding programs which include resistance for specific diseases or general resistance offer the opportunity to reduce disease without the need for therapeutics using the animals own natural resistance.

This project should investigate optimal tools for the measurement of disease resistance and general fitness/survival in a practical aquaculture setting. It should seek to take advantage of new molecular information liking disease resistance to specific markers and regions of the genome. The project will also investigate correlated traits to specific and general disease resistance (Immunoglobulin, cortisol levels, cardiac size and performance) both at the phenotypic and molecular levels.

Expected outcomes:

- Survey and audit of current molecular markers to disease resistance traits available for aquaculture species.

- Development of non-lethal methods and tools for the measurement of correlated traits to disease resistance.

- Maximising the benefit to breeding programs from the inclusion of molecular and phenotypic tools for the inclusion in programs of disease resistance or correlated traits.

3. “Identification of sex determinism and markers for sex (phenotypic and molecular) at early stage, for all species”.

Sex control is of major importance for aquaculture, as monosex populations may substantially improve production yields (sex dimorphism for growth, caviar production, delayed maturation in females). Sex control is also necessary for producing 100% sterile all-female triploids. It is important to ensure that balanced sex ratios are used in breeding programmes, to help achieve optimal genetic gain. In many European aquaculture species, sex determination remains poorly understood and controlled (sea bass, sea bream, cod, sturgeon), and even in “simple” species like salmonids or turbot, atypical sex determination exists, with influences of minor determinants and/or environmental factors.

The project should take advantage of the progress of the new genomic tools available for several species to identify sex-specific DNA markers (for species with sex chromosomes), QTLs (for species with secondary sex determining loci or species with polyfactorial sex determination) and/or markers based on gene expression. The project shall also investigate the interactions of genotype and environment in the determination of sex. Use of comparative approaches using model aquaculture species where sex determination is better understood (salmonids, tilapia) and genomic resources are abundant may be considered.

Expected outcomes:

- A better understanding of the sex determination system in important European aquaculture species where it is lacking today

- Non-lethal tools for identifying sex of individuals before sexual maturation

- Prospective methods to control sex-ratio combining genetic and environmental approaches
4. “Identification of correlation between productive, disease resistance and welfare traits”.

Phenotypic and genetic correlations between production, maturation, disease resistance, fillet quality and welfare traits are needed to breed healthy animals and respect the integrity of each individual, including cardiac capacity, bone development, survival, respiratory capacity, stress and behaviour.

The project should provide estimates and monitoring solutions in running breeding programs of the phenotypic and genetic correlations between all the above traits. It should include correlated responses for the same traits in polyploids versus diploid individuals and a better understanding of the physiology, quantitative genetics and genomic background of the traits included in the breeding goal. The project will also develop optimised selection strategies when selection is performed on a large number, sometimes unfavourable correlated traits.

Expected outcomes:

- Identification of correlated responses will prevent the outcome of unfavourable side effects in selected lines

- The optimisation of selection strategies and the monitoring of the change of correlation estimates over time will increase the genetic response

    1. Proposal for a Breeding and Reproduction Aquaculture Network

The evidence of fruitful development perspectives deriving from a strong collaboration between the breeding and reproduction sectors, already implemented at the ETPs level, conduced to the launch of a network gathering the aquaculture industry and academics active in these areas.

A call of interest has been sent to the AquaBreeding-ReproFish-AquaGenome projects’ mailing list (220 e-mail addresses) on the first of January 2009. Within the end of that month, the consortium will take stock of the registrations received and decide how to move for the future. End-January, 43 industry representatives and 67 academics had registered.

When it will come, the network will operate on a voluntary basis and will be managed by a core-group linking the respective FABRETP and EATIP working groups.

To proposed activities will concentrate on 4 pillars: (1) Define the industrial research priorities, (2) Organise applied training courses, (3) Perform a periodic industrial survey on aquaculture breeding practices, (4) Disseminate information and enhance interactions through a dedicated website.

This network is expected to give continuity to the collaboration initiated between the AquaBreeding, ReproFish and AquaGenome projects’ stakeholders. Making the link between the FABRETP and EATIP platforms, it will reinforce the awareness of ETPs’ opportunities and highlight industrial challenges throughout Europe in the fields of aquaculture breeding, reproduction and genomics. In particular, it will contribute to the definition and implementation of the FABRETP and EATIP Strategic Research Agenda in the above fields. Gathering users and suppliers of knowledge, it will also enhance innovation transfer and projects build-up opportunities.
All the project’s partners contributed to the Deliverable 5.
The work performed is presented in the Deliverable 5.


Call Of Interest For A Network
First Output: Proposal For A Professional Training Course On Breeding

Call of interest for a Breeding and Reproduction Aquaculture Network
During the AquaBreeding-ReproFish workshop held in Paris (1-3 October, 2008), a proposal was made to create a pilot Network bringing together the 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 ( and the European Aquaculture Technology & Innovation Platform ( 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:


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

technological development

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 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.

Professional training course

Design of breeding programs for aquaculture’

Wageningen, April 21-23, 2009


Anna Sonesson, NOFIMA Marine, Norway.

Marc Vandeputte, INRA Fish Genetics Laboratory, Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Hans Komen, Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen University, Netherlands.
Course Outline

Most fish species cultured today are produced under controlled conditions in specialized hatcheries. A recent inventory by the EU project AQUABREEDING showed however, that many hatcheries do not yet operate breeding programs to manage and prevent inbreeding or for selective improvement of specific traits. Lack of knowledge on the basic principles of genetics underlying the breeding programs, on the structure and organization of breeding programs, and on the cost-benefit aspects of breeding programs are mentioned as the main constraints.

The professional training course ‘Design of breeding programs for aquaculture’ aims to supply that knowledge. This course, organized by Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in collaboration with Nofima Marine, Norway, and INRA, France, will be given by specialists in the field of animal breeding and genetics, with many years of experience in designing and evaluating breeding programs for aquaculture. This course is the first course organized within the AQUABREEDING framework to provide knowledge in the area of reproduction and breeding to the aquaculture industry (see also website).
The aim of this 3-day course is to provide people working in the field of fish (re)production with the knowledge that will enable them to design a simple breeding program, evaluate the costs and benefits of a breeding program, and to discuss sophisticated breeding programs with professional breeding organizations. Education will be a mix of lectures and computer practical’s. Participants will be asked to design a breeding program (in small groups) of their own choice, which will be plenary discussed; Those who want to bring own data can discuss this option with the course teachers beforehand.
After this course, participants will:

  • know how the basic principles of relatedness and genetic variation can be used to predict inbreeding and genetic improvement

  • understand that the most important part of breeding programs is organization and recording of pedigree and phenotypes.

  • know how to decide which traits are included in a breeding program

  • understand how selection intensity drives inbreeding and genetic gain

  • be able to draft a breeding program of their own design

  • understand the potential use of biotechnological and genomic tools in fish breeding

Who can participate?

The course level is MSC and is open to professionals working in the European Aquaculture breeding and reproduction industry and education. Participants are assumed to have a basic understanding of elementary genetic principles (chromosomes, genes, alleles, Mendelian inheritance, DNA) . The maximum number of participants is 25.


750 Euro. This includes lunch and dinner. Accommodation is not included. After registration you will receive an invoice. Participants are only accepted after receiving their registration fee.



register through our website: . Check under “education/ Ph-D / courses”, download and fill in the registration form and either send or fax it back to us.



The course will take place in Wageningen. A good place to arrange your accommodation is at WICC:

Tel. +31 (0)317 49 01 33

Fax +31 (0)317 42 62 43


Internet: Price per night for a single room is 75 Euro or 100 Euro for a double room (including breakfast).


More information:
About Wageningen
Wageningen is centrally located in the Netherlands. It is one hour by train or car to Amsterdam Airport, and less than one hour by car to Airport NiederRhein, Weeze, Germany.

See Google > maps > Wageningen for details.

    1. Overview table

Exploitable Knowledge (description)

Exploitable product(s) or measure(s)

Sector(s) of application

Timetable for commercial use

Patents or other IPR protection

Owner & Other Partner(s) involved

Species reviews





AquaBreeding consortium -

Consultative committee



Aquaculture hatcheries and breeders



AquaBreeding consortium -

Breeding organisations

Industrial research priorities


Aquaculture breeding sector



AquaBreeding consortium -

Consultative committee

Vision document in breeding





AquaBreeding consortium


Project website

Aquaculture breeding sector



AquaBreeding consortium



Aquaculture breeding and reproduction sectors



AquaBreeding consortium –

ReproFish and AquaGenome partners

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