Bluefin tuna farmed on land – An important milestone has been reached by researchers at the Murcia Oceanographic Centre, part of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, who have succeeded in successfully reproducing bluefin tuna in a land-based facility. An achievement that represents a significant breakthrough in the breeding of this fish species, and paves the way for new perspectives in the aquaculture industry.Supporting the research is the tuna farming start-up Next Tuna.
According to the researchers, this is the first time that bluefin tuna have successfully reproduced within a land-based installation. Although Japanese aquaculture companies have already undertaken closed-loop tuna farming, this achievement is considered unprecedented in its scale and innovative factor.
The project started in 2015
The project was born in 2015 and received financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
Four tanks, which together can hold up to 7 million tonnes, house two groups of bluefin tuna: one consisting of 25 specimens born in 2017, the other has eight specimens born in 2018.
Researchers Aurelio Ortega and Fernando de la Gándara led a team of experts through a complex process that involved the use of hormones to stimulate the final maturation and laying of the eggs. The result was an astonishing number of over 100,000 fertilised eggs. This success represents a major overcoming of obstacles, such as captivity-related stress, that had previously prevented bluefin tuna from reproducing in land-based facilities.
It should be noted that the Murcia Oceanographic Centre had already achieved closure of the bluefin tuna biological cycle in 2016, but through the use of floating cages. The technology developed by the centre has since been commercialised by several Japanese fishing companies. Despite these achievements, some of Spain’s leading bluefin tuna companies, such as Balfegó and Ricardo Fuentes, have yet to explore land-based aquaculture.
This achievement opens new horizons for the conservation and sustainable farming of bluefin tuna. The ability to realise these results in scientific research underlines the potential to address global challenges, from fish species extinction to food security, through innovation and cooperation.
Bluefin tuna farmed on land