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Fish production

Sardines in captivity

Bred in the laboratory, the fish are then placed in cages in the ocean

UFSCBred in the laboratory, the fish are then placed in cages in the oceanUFSC

A methodology for breeding sardines in captivity was successfully developed by researchers at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). “There are no sardine fish farms in Brazil. They are only caught at sea for use as food or live bait for tuna fishing, a process that results in many losses,” says Cristina Carvalho, postdoctoral researcher and participant in the project called Isca Viva (Live Bait), coordinated by Professor Vinicius Cerqueira of the Laboratory of Marine Aquaculture (Lapmar) at UFSC. As a result of work begun in 2009, which involved studies of maturation and reproduction, feeding and behavior, about 8,000 sardines born and bred in captivity were transported in August to cages on the north coast of the state of Santa Catarina, where they are being looked after by researchers from Itajaí Valley University (Univali) and will be collected by a tuna fishing boat. The fish raising process started with fishing at sea, continued with the acclimation of the fish in tanks in the laboratory and the induction of spawning. When in the larval form, soon after birth, the fish eat rotifers, a type of freshwater worm, and brine shrimp, a small crustacean. When they reach adulthood, they eat commercial feed. At about 30 to 40 days old, they have already grown to about 5 cm, the minimum size to be used as live bait. Univali and the Research and Fish Resource Management Center for the Southeastern and Southern Coast (Cepsul) are partners in the project.