In this project, IEO puts forward four installations for TNA. The facilities include the two Marine Aquaculture facilities of Murcia (IEO-ICRA and IEO-MAP), Vigo (IEO-AquaCOV) and Santander (IEO-PAU). All four experimental aquaculture facilities are fully equipped. These facilities include several areas, such as breeding, hatchery, nursery, phyto and zooplankton cultures and pre- and on growing. There are also several available on-site biological laboratories: wet labs, genetic, histology, nutrition, chemistry, and biochemistry as well as rooms for feeding preparation. Murcia facilities are devoted to developing techniques for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) reproduction in captivity and juvenile production of bluefin tuna, as well as breeding and juvenile production of other Mediterranean fish species. In Vigo, the IEOAquaCOV’s general research lines have been focused on the optimization of animal husbandry of marine species of commercial interest and the rearing of new species. EIO-PAU unit in Santander has a wide expertise in rearing polychaetes.

The involved IEO teams (Vigo, Murcia and Santander) hold expertise to carry out scientific research in:

1) Rearing protocols for new and consolidated species for aquaculture such as Atlantic bluefin tuna, wreckfish, European hake, greater amberjack, sparids, flatfish and cephalopods

2) Reproductive performance and physiology, nutritional requirements of cultured marine species

3) Health and welfare, immune system and vaccine development and

4) Genetic analysis for selective breeding of aquaculture stocks.


Infrastructure: IEO-AquaCOV

Location: Vigo, SPAIN

Web site address:

Contact: Montse Pérez (


IEO-AquaCOV’s general research lines have been focused on the optimization of animal husbandry of marine species of commercial interest, such as fish (turbot Psetta maximus, black-spot sea bream Pagellus bogaraveo and molluscs (Octopus vulgaris), as well as in the development of the culture of new species such as wreckfish Polyprion americanus.

Diversification in aquaculture and animal husbandry are two fundamental elements in research at IEOAquaCOV, as well as more specific aspects such as genetic and environmental factors in turbot and wreckfish sex determination, physiology and quality of triploid turbot, use of alternative diets in sea bream ongrowing, reproductive physiology of Senegalese sole, nutrition and molecular biology of the octopus, and mass production of phytoplankton in photobiorreactors. Genetic applied to aquaculture is an important issue strongly connected with all research lines all together working as a multidisciplinary team.

IEO-AquaCOV has an area of 1,950 m2 comprising offices, labs and hatchery (tanks between 100 l -10,000 l) and ongrowing facilities (tanks between 1,000 l – 90,000 l) with a total volume of 550 m3. The Marine Aquaculture Group from IEO-AquaCOV is a multidisciplinary team that currently consists of 4 Scientists, 2 Technicians and 3 Assistants.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

AquaCOV have dealt with genetics applied to aquaculture (molecular markers development, identification of species, traceability, genetic improvement, kinship analysis), use of alternative diets, reproductive physiology, nutrition and production of phytoplankton in PBRs. Each year on average 7 international research teams use our facilities.

IEO-AquaCOV is currently used as a research infrastructure by IEO scientific staff and other Spanish institutes and universities. It has also hosted many experiments from private companies.

Modality of access

Each visiting scientist will be linked to a local research group with expertise in the same or closest possible research field. Visitors planning to perform experiments in the IEO- AquaCOV facilities will provide an experimental plan for their work in collaboration with IEO researchers in the project.

As the standard procedures and the general maintenance will be carried out by trained and experienced staff, each user is expected to stay 10 days, typically 5 days at the beginning of the experiment to finalize the technical protocol details and start the experiment and 5 days at the end of the experiment for final measurements and sampling.

Access will comprise the use of tanks including maintenance, water supply, daily feeding and husbandry of fish; manipulation, and sampling of fish. Access to all dry laboratory facilities and other infrastructural, logistical, technical and scientific support to external users is offered, as well as access to internet, desk, fax and printing service, copy machine, etc. Users will be provided with any necessary technical assistance, training and advice on methodologies, experimental design and data analysis.

IEO-AquaCOV provides standardized experimental protocols, documentation of results, and appropriate sampling and conservation of samples.

Unit of access

The unit of access is one week (7 days) per person. The typical access consists of 10 units. Unit of access is defined as one week during which a user is given access to IEO-MAP facilities to use a set of experimental tanks or biological labs. The unit of access will include the preparatory work of the experiment and the technical support during the project.

There are 20 units of access allocated to IEO-AquaCOV over the life of the project.


See More