In this project, INRAE, the main institute for agronomic research in France puts forward three installations for TNA. 1) PEIMA is the main trout experimental station in France, and one of the largest in Europe, and is dedicated to all kinds of studies on mainly trout genetics and physiology, and interaction between those, 2) INRA St Pée Infrastructure which is a unique set of installations devoted to nutrition research in freshwater salmonids, 3) INRA-IERP (Fish Infectiology Platform) is the INRA experimental facility dedicated to fish infectiology. INRAe has internationally-recognized teams in fish physiology, genetics, nutrition and pathology (>400 peer-reviewed papers in the last 5 years) which will be involved in the networking and joint research activities.

1) INRAE-PEIMA (Experimental Fish Culture Station of Monts D’Arrée)

2) INRAE St Pée (Fish Nutrition Farms and platform)

3) INRAE-IERP (Fish Infectiology Platform)

4) INRAE-LPGP (Fish Physiology and Genomics Facility)


Name of the infrastructure: INRAE-PEIMA (Pisciculture Expérimentale INRAE des Monts d’Arrée)

Location: Sizun, FRANCE

Website address: :

Contact: Laurent Labbé (


PEIMA is the reference experimental unit for research on all stages of the life cycle of salmonids performed within several INRAE departments, mostly in physiology (reproduction, growth, behaviour, adaptation, etc.), genetics and nutrition.

It is equipped with:

• Two separate water supplies:

o River, with a flow rate of 900m3/h and a temperature varying from 5 to 18°C.

o Spring, with a maximum flow of 50m3/h and a constant temperature 11°C ± 1°C.

• A hatchery with a capacity of 3 million eggs instantaneous hatching.

• 156 indoor nursery tanks (250L to 400L) for testing the early stages.

• 156 outdoor tanks (2 m3). 70 tanks have individual oxygen control and 42 have photoperiod control.

• An outdoor semi-industrial RAS composed of 10 breeding tanks of 7 m3 each. This RAS is linked to a hydroponic compartment consisted of two lagoons of 28 m² each and two media-based (gravel) beds of 14 m2 each. It’s equipped with a suspended solids treatment compartment. A fraction of the effluents, the highly charged backwash water of the drum filter is stored in a reservoir and periodically pumped to a radial flow settler for the later recovery of solids into polyester filter bag, due to an intermediate polymeric flocculation step.

• A platform of 26 circular tanks of 28m3 used for broodstock maintenance.

• A behavioural study room with 32 tanks of 500 litres and 16 video cameras.

• Control of feed intake and feeding rhythms: a set of 48 tanks is equipped with self-feeders to monitor feeding rhythms and control feed distribution over the daily cycle and (iii) evaluate the amount of feed distributed.

• A wet laboratory for sampling and measurement of live fish equipped with a high throughput phenotyping platform.

• A wet laboratory for sampling and measurement of live fish equipped with a high throughput phenotyping platform.

• An experimental processing/smoking unit with individual data acquisition on morphometry, yields, physiological & quality traits, and processing of samples for sensory evaluation.

• An indoor RAS platform composed whit 3 independent rooms. In each room the environmental factors (gas, temperature, light) can be managed. . Each tank is equipped with faecal collectors, so accurate knowledge on feed intake by fish is gathered over long periods.

Each room could be linked to an aquaponic cold greenhouse composed of 27 parcels. Each parcel can be coupled or decoupled with the different rooms of the RAS.

• PEIMA also has a world unique collection of farmed trout with selection and maintenance of trout lines with original characteristics like growth, sex-ratio, fat content, spawning date, adaptation to plant-based diets, disease resistance, including 20 isogenic lines of rainbow trout. Specifically, the available biological material includes:

o 5 strains of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) distinguished by their dates of egg-laying, of which one species is Golden (dominant albinism)

o 2 strains of rainbow trout diverging in muscle-fat content (7th generation of selection)

o 3 strains of brown trout (Salmo trutta), of which 1 has been selected for the speed of growth (9th generation of selection under way)

o 1 strain selected for its ability to ingest plant-based feed (3rd generation of selection under way)

o 20 strains of homozygous rainbow trout

o 1 strain of YY males and 1 line of neo-males (XX).

• They are all available for TNA, under a collaboration agreement in the case of isogenic lines.

• A cold-water aquaponics unit may also be made available.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

PEIMA provides an experimental platform for freshwater studies throughout the whole life cycle of salmonids. All experimental animals are from well characterized genetic lines, including highly variable populations with different spawning dates, isogenic clonal lines and lines selected for specific traits (growth, muscle fat, dominant albinism). Production of triploid and/or mono-sex fish is available on request. Usual protocols are in all fields of physiology, genetics and nutrition, interactions between those, and their effects on product quality.

INRAE-PEIMA is currently used as a research infrastructure by several remote laboratories from INRAE (physiology, genetics, nutrition) and other French institutes and universities. It has also hosted many experiments from private companies.

In addition to the above, technical support for daily experimental work and technical help for samplings will be provided to all users. For specific needs, INRAE scientists using the infrastructures (genetics, nutrition, physiology, pathology) will assist users for experimental design and data interpretation.

Modality of access

INRAE-PEIMA 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.

PEIMA offers access to carry out fish trials with all tank types and water qualities available at the premises. 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 accommodation and office access with PC and international phone, fax and internet communications.

PEIMA provides standardized experimental protocols, documentation of results, and appropriate sampling and conservation of samples. Provision of experimental fish will exclusively be done using the collection of fish lines (rainbow trout, brown trout) available on site. Provision of specific genetic settings (different lines and crosses, triploids, mono-sex) should be agreed in advance. Use of rainbow trout isogenic lines is subject to prior agreement on research topics and IP rights.

Unit of Access

The unit of access is defined as 1 tank week: equalling the occupation of 1 standard fish holding unit (2 m3) for 7 days. Occupation of small (250 l) or large (> 2000 l) tanks will be assigned a fraction or a multiple, respectively, of the standard tank unit. One trial is expected to comprise 128 tank-weeks on average (i.e., 16 tanks for 8 weeks). There are 500 units of access are allocated over the life of the project. Included in the units of access are monitoring of water quality parameters (flow, temperature, O2, CO2, pH), sanitary costs if needed (veterinary and treatment), sanitary safety, oxygen, etc..

Watch a TNA success story performed at INRAE-PEIMA facilities>>>


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