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Large scale bluefin tuna spawning facility to go on-stream this summer

The building for experiment on parent bluefin spawning, which the Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) had been constructing at the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute in Nagasaki, western Japan, for the promotion of bluefin tuna farming, completed at the end of March this year. The new facility will go into full operation this coming summer.
The building was constructed in line with the Project Research entrusted by the government’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Conference, which aims to achieve stable production of 100,000 bluefin seedlings under the collaboration between the government and the private sector. The experiment facility with total floor space of about 4,600 square meters on a 9,556-squaremeter site has two aquariums (with a diameter of 20 m and depth of 6 m), each with a capacity of 1,800 tons.
The 2.1-billion-yen project will be the first attempt in the world to collect bluefin tuna eggs on a land-based facility.
Amid rising expectation toward bluefin tuna farming- -in response to strengthened international tuna stock management, the facility aims to procure eggs at a stable pace from parent fish not affected by natural environment, and supply seedlings for farming on a constant basis.
The land-based large-scale aquariums are capable of raising a total of 200 juveniles (100 for each). They are designed to promote maturity of parent fish by controlling water temperatures and the amount of light at appropriate levels for egg collection in a bid to achieve stable egg acquisition.
Upon completion of the facility, FRA plans to transfer from late May to June the two-year-old bluefin tuna juveniles raised at its Amami Fish Farming Center, southernmost Japan.
In order to ensure the diversity of the species, the facility will initially aim to achieve stable egg production from juveniles collected and to be raised from the wild. In the future, it will pursue stable supply of seedlings for release into the ocean. Keiichi Mushiake, the head of the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute’s Tuna Propagation Center, expressed the hope to contribute to management of the bluefin tuna stock in Japan, the world’s top tuna consuming country.
(This is a translation of an article of the SUISAN-KEIZAI, a Japanese fisheries daily.–Editor.)