Do you know what it takes to grow turbot, from egg to plate?

Turbot is a species of flatfish that can naturally be found in the waters of the northeastern Atlantic and throughout the Mediterranean. Because of its ability to thrive in these habitats, the major producers of cultivated turbot have grown to include Scotland, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Norway, and Wales. Turbot juveniles were first introduced to China in the 1990’s, and since then China has become the world’s single largest producer of farmed turbot.

Modern turbot production relies on the use of land-based recirculation systems. Eggs range between 0.9-1.2 mm in size and are typically suspended in cones. Larvae hatch after 5 days, and are then given live feed for approximately 90 days. During this time the larvae will undergo metamorphosis, where the right eye will migrate to the left side of the fish. Juveniles are grown out in circular tanks for 18-20 months until they reach a market size of 1.5 – 2.0 kg. Broodstock are grown until they reach approximately 4 years in age, during which time they can spawn throughout the year.

HatcheryMatch is excited to experience the nursery and hatchery stages of the turbot cultivation process first hand! As part of the prototype and testing phases of our innovation development processes, project partner Fisheries Machinery and Instrument Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences will use a fully-functional recirculating turbot hatchery to validate the efficiency of the four key automated technologies developed by the HatcheryMatch project: an ultrasound disinfection device, an automated bottom cleaning device, an automatic live feed delivery system, and an embryonic image analyser.

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Project HatcheryMatch funded by the Malta Council for Science and Technology through the Sino-Malta Fund 2020 (Science and Technology Cooperation). An Automated Marine Fish Hatchery with Innovated Water Recirculation Technologies (HatcheryMatch, Grant No.  2020YFE0108700, also funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, China.

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