lunes, 9 de febrero de 2015

Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species (IMPRESS)

A principios de enero se inició la European Training Network (financiada por la Unión Europea, H2020; Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) titulada: Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species (IMPRESS; y en la que nuestro grupo participa como uno de los 9 partners de 7 países. IMPRESS está coordinada por el Dr. Finn-Arne Weltzien, de la Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Oslo, Noruega). La ITN durará 4 años y financiará la realización de 15 Tesis Doctorales, 2 de ellas en la UPV.

The IMPRESS European Training Network will provide a new generation of researchers with the multidisciplinary skills and competences needed to oversee new stocking strategies for Europe’s most important and threatened freshwater fish species (Atlantic salmon, European eel and sturgeons) thus enabling conservation and growth in a sector of significant economic and societal importance. Freshwater fish populations bring many benefits to Europe´s citizens through leisure activities, and enhance rural employment through fishing and tourism. The species included in IMPRESS are sentinel species of clean, healthy freshwater ecosystems and of major historical, cultural and economic importance. Over-exploitation and anthropogenic activities have critically endangered wild populations of these fish groups, especially sturgeons. As the main flaw of past stock enhancement is high post-release mortality, the researcher training in IMPRESS will build upon recent scientific advances, especially in fish genomics and enriched hatchery techniques, to develop innovative production regimes resulting in increased survival rates of released fish. This paradigm shift in stock enhancement strategies will require changes at every level of the production cycle, from broodstock management and gamete quality to hatchery design. New in vitro and -omics technologies will be developed to solve current bottlenecks in the production cycle of sturgeons. IMPRESS will also verse young researchers on the social dimensions of this complex issue, including the need to foster closer dialogue with the important stakeholders responsible for national and regional stocking programmes. Further, through dissemination and public engagement, all IMPRESS fellows will work actively to increase public awareness on the importance of these key fish species to freshwater biodiversity, and on the major societal benefits of healthy fish populations, both for recreational activities and for supporting rural employment. 

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