Capacity building of staff from the INRH in meagre culture techniques in the ICCM (Canary Islands)

August  2013

The National Fisheries Research Institute (INRH) of Agadir has selected Mr. Abdelbaset Ben Bani, research staff of that centre, to benefit from a period of capacitation within the facilities of the Research Group on Aquaculture (GIA) in the Canary Institute of Marine Science (ICCM). The main theme of the visit was the formation on production techniques of meagre (Argyrosomus regius).

This species is considered as a potential for aquaculture diversification in several regions where it is present in the natural environment, such as the Mediterranean coast, the Canaries and the Atlantic coast of Morocco. At present, diversification of markets with the introduction of new species can be considered the main strategy for the development of aquaculture. This diversification will increase the efficiency of aquaculture enterprises.

In Morocco, aquaculture is considered an emerging activity, although its development is hampered by several constraints. The Government Plan "Halieutis" tries to overcome these limitations and turn aquaculture into an engine for socio-economic growth, relying among other issues on the promotion of aquaculture research. In terms of R&D, adaptation to captivity of new species and local production of fish food are the priorities for continuous and sustainable development of national aquaculture.

Given these considerations, Aquatrans Project devoted Activity 4 to different aspects of the culture of this species, identifying several key topics to be developed and transferred through the experience of the partners from the Canary Islands in the field of aquaculture.

The main aspects of this training period, developed between the 17th June and the 5th July, were focused on the production of meagre in the early stages of reproduction and larval rearing. The main activities through which the capacitation was conducted were:

- Stimulation of meagre spawning using different hormones and two techniques (injection and implants).

The purpose of the activity was the use of different types of commercial hormones through two methods, in order to induce spawning and determine the effect on the quantity and quality of the eggs and larvae.

Handling of anesthetized specimens and injection operation.

- Production of larval food (microdiets).

La participación en esta experiencia ha permitido el Sr. Ben-Bani conocer todas las etapas de la fabricación de alimentos larvarios, desde la formulación hasta la obtención del producto final. La experiencia del equipo del Grupo de Investigación de Acuicultura, que se encuentra entre los líderes mundiales en investigación sobre nutrición de peces, fue muy provechosa para el desarrollo de esta actividad de formación.


Different stages of the preparation of microdiets.

- Participation in all phases of experimentation in larval nutrition.

This activity included all the different phases of the process, from the preparation of larval rearing systems, counting and transferring larvae to tanks, feeding with previously formulated microdiets and preparation of samples aimed at genetic, microscopic and histological analyses in the laboratories of the University Institute for Animal Health and Food Safety (IUSA) of the ULPGC.

Counting of larvae and transfer to tanks and preparation of larvae samples.

Although the training was mainly focused on issues related to fish culture, also some aspects of shellfish and seaweed farming were addressed. To optimize his stay Mr. Ben-Bani was able to participate in works related to breeding of Canary abalone (Haliotis tuberculata coccinea) and production of the macro-algae used to feed this species.


In the words of Mr. Ben Bani, "The training received has been very successful thanks to the different actions undertaken and the close interaction with researchers and technicians from the Aquaculture Research Group".

The partners have expressed their willingness to continue the development of actions such as those of Aquatrans Project in order to meet the objectives of sustainable development of aquaculture in the Canary Islands and in Souss Massa Draa.