Ifremer is the largest French institution involved in marine research (1500 people) through research centers and stations in mainland and overseas.

IFR-PMMLT (La Tremblade Experimental Aquaculture Research Station)

Infrastructure: IFR-PMMLT (La Tremblade Experimental Aquaculture Research Station)

Location: La Tremblade, FRANCE

Web site address: www.ifremer.fr

Contact: Christophe Stavrakakis (christophe.stavrakakis@ifremer.fr), head of research unit. Frédéric Girardin (frederic.girardin@ifremer.fr), manager of the experimental platform.


PMMLT offers 1200m2 experimental facilities dedicated to aquaculture research. They are intended to produce experimental families of bivalve molluscs (hollow oysters, flat oysters, mussels and…) and to carry out experiments on animals in farming.

• evolution and understanding of the determinisms of resistance of marine molluscs to pathogens (viruses, bacteria, protozoa)

• understanding the genomic plasticity of marine shellfish

• evolution and understanding of pathogen virulence

The Tears platform has undertaken a process to consolidate its experimental aquaculture research system in order to guarantee the safety of its research families but also to protect the environment by managing and securing its discharges and confining animals according to the anticipated risk.

The 3 units are:

1-The secure platform section

390 tanks of different volumes (8 to 800 l) distributed in nine rooms allowing the production of biological material and the conservation of strains of interest. Each room will be equipped with 50% of its capacity in closed circuits and a possibility to regulate each tank at the thermal level Seawater is filtered at 1µ to 60µ, UV sterilized, degassed in a packed column. Four seawater distribution networks are designed to work between 8°C and 25°C.

Seven (7) distinct types of hatchery operations can be distinguished in the hatchery with different purposes:

• quarantine

• maturation

• larval breeding

• micro-nursery

• Strain conservatory

• Production of forage phytoplankton

• Three experimental rooms

2- Unsecured platform section

130 experimental tanks (130l to 12m3), one experimental onshore concession (10 tidal marsh) with an area of 13400 yard2 and five offshore concessions (5000 yard2).

A phytoplankton production area with a capacity of 20m3.

3- secure laboratory section

• Three laboratories in the secure platform area, allowing work to be carried out on biometrics, cytogenetics, cytometry, sample collection, …

• An experimental infection laboratory (L2) with seven remote rooms (acclimatization, experimental infection (4), laboratory and a laundry room, the effluents are secured by a waterproof tank.

• Physio-pathology laboratories are secured by a waterproof tank.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

The experimental platform allows all experiments on marine shellfish to be carried out. It is designed to enable the production of biological materials for experimental purpose unit from reproduction to Strain conservatory phase. The proposed work is on several themes: animal zootechny, physiology, pathology and genetics. IFREMER staff will advise the TNA users in the experimental set-up including system preparation, shellfish supplying and acclimatization. During the experiments, it will continue to support the TNA user, including daily care, sampling and (temporal) storage of samples. In addition, when appropriate, legal permits to work with experimental animals will have to be obtained by a certified IFREMER scientist prior to the experiment. During FP7-AQUAEXCEL, two foreign TNA guests used this infrastructure for their research to fully use the number of proposed accesses. In addition, close collaborations within the frame of other international projects frequently allow guests to work in the facilities of IFREMER.

Modality of access

Location of work: La Tremblade, France (PMMLT)

Duration of work: Depending on the user’s choice of section, the duration of use will be different.

For the sections of the secure/unsecured platform: each user must stay a minimum of 56 days with a minimum presence of five days at the beginning of the experiment in order to finalize the protocol and start the experiment, the same duration must be effective at the end of the experiment.

For the secure laboratory section: each user must stay a minimum of 5 days with a minimum presence of one day at the beginning of the experiment in order to finalize the protocol and start the experiment, the same duration must be effective at the end of the experiment.

The TNA user will be responsible for the daily experience, coordination and analysis of the data following the different protocols given at the beginning of the experiment.

Unit of access

For the sections of the secure/unsecured (tank) platform: Tank/week.

One typical access consists of 238 units of access.

For example to produce experimental ten families of bivalve molluscs (T6): A typical TNA experiment uses 17 experimental tanks (3 to 150l) for a total period of 14 weeks excluding broodstock maturation (1 preparation, 12 experiment (as 84 days), 1 cleaning), resulting in 238 units of access by project.

The actual number of system weeks of a particular TNA thus depends on the experimental design.

For the sections of the unsecured platform (experimental onshore and offshore concession): Oyster Mesh Bags /week.

For the secure laboratory section (physiology, pathology and genetics): days/laboratory

A minimum access consists of 5 units (5 days) of access. One day of preparation, three days of experimentation and one day of cleaning.

Specify what is included in one unit of access: A unit of access typically includes assistance with tasks that cannot be performed by the TNA user, or by the TNA user alone. This includes:

• Preparation of the work; set-up of the systems, acclimatization of filters and shellfish, protocols, legal permission to work with live animals,

• Daily work on the experiment itself according to the protocol; check on the systems and shellfish, work on the experiment, the use of collection of data, backstopping during weekends, alarm service,

• Sampling for the experiment: samples of water and shellfish, according to the protocol.

IFREMER Marine Molluscs facilities video>>>


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