Introduction to the species:
The Greater amberjack’s (Seriola dumerili) length is about 100cm, being considered a large predatory fish that can live for 17 years. Its distribution in nature varies: it can be found in oceans and seas all around the world. It is remarkable that this species is found mostly individually or in small groups only and Greater amberjack breeding in captivity has proven to be problematic.
As they are predators, they can hunt anything to eat, from crustaceans to other kind of fish, as well as plankton. Farmed greater amberjack is used mainly for sushi and sashimi in Japan and for immediate consumption in Europe.
The greater amberjack is an important commercial fish, as well as a popular game species, in Europe and North America. Farmed Greater amberjack is a fast growing fish, appreciated because of the high quality meat and commercial value, mainly used for sushi and sashimi in Japan and for immediate consumption in Europe.
- Commercial activity with hatchery-produced fish exists in Malta and interest exists and efforts have been made by various aquaculture companies in Spain, Greece, Italy and Cyprus.
- Juvenile production has been studied more intensely in Europe in recent years, and is increasing in Spain, Greece and Malta.
- The grow-out culture of greater amberjack uses similar off-shore cages to those used for other marine fish.
- Greater amberjack is a valuable food fish that sells well in the traditional fish markets as well as having potential for value-added products.
Activities related to Greater amberjack in NewTechAqua:
- NewTechAqua will achieve significant advances in greater amberjack reproduction technology by the characterisation of sex differentiation and puberty, and the detailed description of reproductive dysfunctions in hatchery-produced greater amberjack. The production of natural-like recombinant gonadotropins with the proper pharmacokinetic (half-life) profile will allow the induction -on demand- of gametogenesis and maturation of both mature and pre-pubertal fish maintained in tanks. The successful identification of optimal rearing conditions, which mimic the natural environment, will pave the way for organic production of greater amberjack, and reduce the reliance of the industry on frequent handling and hormonal treatments of these large breeders. Moreover, greater amberjack broodstock management will be improved by means of the determination of spawning kinetics of individualised female greater amberjack and the identification of male parentage contribution, aiding to the implementation of selective breeding programmes.
- A new model of broodstock management/selection for spawning in industrial settings will be designed, based on sharing gonad development data on a dedicated web platform through specialised broodstock management software in order to choose the most promising site for spawning induction.
- Using fish flash and functional ingredients, novel convenient formulated fish products (e.g. hamburger, fish-balls etc.) with high nutritional value and desired sensory characteristics will be developed. Greater amberjack fish flesh will be obtained trough mechanical separation from by-products obtained after filleting operation. Mature food processing technologies applied in others food sectors (e.g. protein emulsion, enzymatic treatments such as transglutaminase) together with specific functional ingredients will be tested to obtain new texturized and product formats. These technologies will allow the development of innovative products and will encourage fish consumption providing healthy, sustainable and convenience commodities. Defined vegetable ingredients could be added for the preparation of ‘ready-to-cook’ products.