In this project, INRAE, the main institute for agronomic research in France, puts forward four installations for TNA

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-STPEE (Fish nutrition farms and platform)

Location: Saint Pée sur Nivelle, FRANCE

Website address:

Contact: Stéphane Panserat (



INRAE-STPEE facilities include three complimentary platforms dedicated to the nutrition of rainbow trout throughout the whole life cycle:

Platform 1: Donzacq fish farm has a complete feed manufacturing plant with a twin-screw extruder and wet lab facilities for in vivo work as well as samplings. The water supply is from natural springs at a constant 17°C with oxygenation and gas desaturation. The farm has large (160 m3) and small scale (5000 and 200 l) flow through raceways and individual tanks of different sizes: 36 small tanks of 50L for hatchlings, 48 1m² tanks, 18 2m² tanks, the latter with computer-controlled feeders.

Platform 2: Lees Athas fish farm has a constant water temperature of 7°C enabling nutrition studies on cold water salmonids. The facility comprises of a hatchery for up to 400 groups of eggs; a UV-treated thermoregulated system for the production of eggs and fry; 84 self-cleaning tanks for growing juvenile salmonids, of special interest for studies on nutrient-genotype interactions, 16 tanks of 200L , 32 tanks of 500L; 6 concrete out-door circular ponds of 12 to 20m3 for studies with broodstock nutrition, 8 raceways of 12 to 20m3 for studies with broodstock nutrition.

Platform 3: St Pée sur Nivelle Specialised facilities include:
3.1 Control of feed intake and feeding rhythms: A set of 2 independent recirculated systems each with 12 tanks, each of which is equipped with self-feeders specially developed by the research team (Boujard et al., 1992) to (i) monitor feeding rhythms, (ii) control feed distribution over the daily cycle and (iii) evaluate the amount of feed distributed. Each tank is equipped with faecal collectors, so accurate knowledge on feed intake by fish is gathered over long periods. The setup also enables feed choice experiments.
3.2 Digestibility: In a recirculated temperature-controlled system, the system consists of three series of six cylindro-conical tanks connected with a continuous automatic faeces collector. The set up originally developed by the research unit (Choubert et al. 1982) has been recognised by EIFAC as the most valid method for in vivo studies on digestibility measurements with fish. This makes possible evaluation of apparent digestibility coefficients (ADC) of both diets and feed ingredients, and the estimation of suspended matter loss of dietary origin. A Quality-control system has been developed for ensuring the validity of standardised protocols and methods.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

INRAE-STPEE can undertake all types of nutrition research experiments, using rainbow trout (freshwater) as the main study-model. It has been actively used in experiments from EU projects from the 5th FP to H2020 (PEPPA, RAFOA, GUTINTEGRITY, FINEFISH, AQUAMAX, PROMICROBE, ARRAINA, AQUAEXCEL2020).
An added strength to the experimental infrastructure is the proximity of nutrition researchers which provides a healthy environment for scientific interaction and exchange.

Modality of access

Each user is expected to stay 12 weeks at the infrastructure (duration of a typical nutrition trial)

Unit of Access

At St Pée the unit of access is defined as 1 tank per week; one typical access consists of 180 units of access (15 tanks for 12 weeks)

Experienced staff will carry out the standard procedures and the general maintenance. The external user will be strongly integrated in all processes from preparation to dissemination. Specific feeds can be produced using the feed manufacturing plant (twin screw extruder).

In addition to the above information, 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. Included for all INRAE facilities is advice on experimental design, fish lines supply, daily maintenance and measurements, routine sampling and biometric measurements, conservation of samples, provision of monitoring data and access to an office with internet connection

Watch a TNA success story performed at INRAE – St Pée  facilities >>>


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