Main objective

Ecological and genetic aquaculture impact assessment on wild marine populations at temporal and spatial level.

- FAD effect evaluation -

FAD effect of tuna and seabream-seabass farms on wild fish populations along the central Eastern Adriatic will be evaluated by biological fish sampling combined with a novel video stereoscopic camera system. Variability of wild fish structure and abundance will be recorded while proxy measurements of fitness of farm-associated and un-associated fish will be obtained to asses do farms function as ecological traps for wild fish.

- Gene flow and population diversity in wild and farmed fish -

Genetic structure and diversity of wild and farmed populations of seabream and seabass, as dominant marine aquaculture species in Croatia and many other Mediterranean countries, will be assessed by microsatellite markers covering all important aquaculture sites, spawning and nursery ground along the Croatian coastline. Better understanding of gene flow among wild populations will facilitate the quantification of genetic changes due to farmed-escapees interactions with wild counterparts.

- Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data -

Using the DNA-stand-by method (Glover 2010) and applying Bayesian clustering analysis, the aim here is to evaluate the potential for identifying farmed-escaped seabream and seabass in the wild, to investigate the potential for the delineation of interactions with wild conspecifics.

- Oysters translocation effect -

Taking into account the commercial importance of European flat oyster in the Mediterranean and the fact that controlled reproduction is still not resolved, the goal of the project is to investigate the potential impact of sprat translocation between geographically distinct farming locations on genetic variability and structure of native oysters populations in the eastern Adriatic.