Marc Vandeputte eastalkOur next EAStalk webinar will be with Dr. Marc Vandeputte on February, 5 (Wednesday) at 14:00h (CET/Brussels time). Marc will give a presentation 'Selective breeding for better farmed fish: how to improve economical and ecological efficiency’.

Dr. Marc Vandeputte is a fish geneticist at INRAE, one of the world leading research institutes in agriculture, food, and environment. He works for more than 20 years on selective breeding of fish (mainly sea bass, carp, trout, and sea bream) in close interaction with the industry and other French (Ifremer) and European research institutes and universities. In national and European projects, he plays a key role in developing breeding strategies for improved efficiency (processing yields, feed efficiency). Besides, Marc is the coordinator of aquaculture research at INRAE and the coordinator of the European network of aquaculture research infrastructures AQUAEXCEL.

Compared to livestock production, aquaculture is very recent, and so is selective breeding, which really started in the 1980's. Nevertheless, the potential of selective breeding to improve production is huge, as it has been for terrestrial species. Great success has already been obtained in fish to improve growth rate and resistance to some diseases. To improve the economic efficiency and reduce the environmental impact, we should minimize the amount of resources (especially feed) used to produce a given amount of edible fish flesh. This implies improving fillet yield, disease resistance, and feed efficiency. These are difficult traits, but key advances have been and are being done in measurement and prediction of genetic values for these traits. This includes innovative phenotyping but also new genetic approaches such as genomic selection. Adapting fish to low or even zero fish meal diets is also important to reduce the environmental footprint of aquaculture, and here also progress has been done. We will review these advances and see how they may be applied in the future.

Video is available under the members section/EAStalk webinar/video.