University of Jyväskylä –
Cooperative study conducted by University of Jyväskylä and Natural Resources institute Finland (Luke), revealed that enriched rearing of juvenile fish significantly enhances the survival of fish from bacterial infection commonly seen in rearing conditions. That may also improve the post release survival of the fish after stocking into the wild. The study has been published in Journal of Applied Ecology.
Importance of aquaculture is increasing worldwide. Along with food production, rearing of endangered fish populations for supportive stocking has become important. In such actions, it is important that the behavior and survival of introduced fish resembles to that of their natural conspecifics.
Traditional stimulus poor rearing environment offers favorable conditions for spread of parasites and diseases, which can significantly reduce the pre- and post-release survival of aquaculture fish. For enhancing the quality of stocked fish, enriched rearing method has been developed in Kainuu Fisheries Research Station of Luke in Paltamo. In this method, structures are added to rearing tanks to increase habitat complexity and resemblance to natural conditions. Earlier, enriched rearing has also been shown to enhance survival of fish during disease epidemics in rearing conditions, but the underlying mechanisms have remained unclear.
New results about the effects of enriched rearing have now been achieved from collaborate study of University of Jyväskylä and Luke.