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-PAU (Polychaetes Aquaculture Unit)

Location: Santander, SPAIN

Web site address:

Contact: Inmaculada Rasines (


IEO-PAU is an experimental unit for research on aquaculture of polychaetes located in the Santander Marine Aquaculture Plant (SMAP), a facility mainly devoted to flatfish aquaculture research. SMAP consists of a 3118 m2 building, 2400 m2 correspond to a wet area including the tanks, and 718 m2 to dry and wet labs and offices. The facility has a seawater pumping system that produces a flow rate of up to 350 m3/h and a water heating and temperature control system, it also includes food preparation room, refrigerators (4ºC), freezers (-20 ºC and -80 ºC) and cryopreservation equipment.

PAU unit is an isolated culture room of 142 m2 provided with air supply, filtered seawater, freshwater, temperature water control and photoperiod control. This facility include more than 24 m2 of substrate for hosting worms in different types of tanks and farming systems: Nine tanks of 1 m2 (Fig. A), one 3 m2 raceway (Fig. B), three channels (1.5 m2 / channel) superimposed (Fig. C), two sets with 6 culture trays of 0.18 m2 (Fig. D), four RAS systems, each with 6 culture trays of 0.18 m2 ( Fig. F) and 8 shallow trays for larval culture of 0.16 m2 (Fig. E), also sets of containers of 0.01m2 are available. These types of tanks, which can be set with different sand layer/water column heights, allow the management and maintenance of the IEO-PAU polychaete stock and pilot and small-scale experimentation.

This facility has equipment for physicochemical control of water quality, biometric evaluation, and image analysis.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

IEO-PAU allows experimentation in on all stages of polychaetes lifecycle (larva, juveniles and breeders), testing different zootechnical conditions and different sources of food, especially organic waste from various origins. Batches of Hediste diversicolor produced in captivity for several generations are available for experimental work. The research team can offer their expertise in management methods such as daily maintenance, transfer of individuals between different culture systems, samplings or harvesting adapted to the polychaete´s characteristics. So, technical assistance for sampling will be provided to all users.

Modality of access

IEO-PAU will carry out experiments for potential users and provide physical access to its facilities during crucial periods of the running experiments. 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, manipulation and sampling of polychaetes. 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-PAU provides standardized experimental protocols, documentation of results, and appropriate sampling and conservation of samples.

Unit of access

The unit of access is one week (5 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-PAU 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-PAU over the life of the project.


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