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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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INRA Experimental Fish Farm of the Monts d'Arrée

AQUAEXCEL: a European "Infrastructures" project coordinated by INRA

Study of fish behaviour

Coordinator & contact



INRA Domaine de Vilvert,

78352 Jouy-en-Josas cedex



2011 - 2015



Aquaexcel is a European "Infrastructures" project coordinated by INRA. Its objective is to create a network of the best European aquaculture research facilities (17 partners, 11 countries) covering all production systems, environments, fish species and fields of study. The project will facilitate the coordination of procedures, a transnational access and the development of new experimental methods and new animal models.

Results and Deliverables


The AQUAEXCEL1 project officially ended in February 2015.

Key outputs are highlighted in the Key Achievements 2014-2015 booklet.
Deliverables are also available for download.

A new AQUAEXCEL2020 (AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in European fish research towards 2020) proposal has received funding from the EC Horizon2020 Programme. This project, which is scheduled to start in October 2015, features an enlarged AQUAEXCEL consortium and will build on the successes of the AQUAEXCEL1 project. It will go deeper into modelling and optimisation of experimental setups, development of isogenic lines and databases on experimental fish.

Context and Stakes

In the future, fish production will be insufficient. Therefore today, the development of a sustainable fish production is a French [1], European [2,3,4] and world [5] priority, to meet this challenge. In Europe, this development will depend on a knowledge-based economy that will improve competitivity by innovation and technological development. The fish industry is young and improved knowledge of fish biology and production systems will provide important productivity gains and more efficient environments.


The AQUAEXCEL project has the following main objectives:

  • coordinating the main European aquaculture research facilities, encouraging shared ressources and know-how, to create the conditions necessary for the emergence of common research projects;
  • providing experimental structures for European research teams that are adapted to all species, systems and environments for breeding and scientific expertise;
  • developing research aimed at improving the efficiency of aquaculture research infrastructures (access and remote monitoring, phenotyping, limitation of the number of animals used, validation of research on the industrial scale, development of biological models);
  • bringing the users of the scientific community together by the development of finalised research and an improved technological transfer

The overall objective followed is to allow innovation for the development of a sustainable production of high quality fish with a low environmental impact.

Perspectives and Impact

AQUAEXCEL will set up a world-class network of aquacutlure research infrastructures, allowing high quality scientific research to be performed with in particular multidisciplinary approaches. Partnerships with the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) will help to ensure the best match between research offers and the needs of the European aquaculture industry.

Research Infrastructure Information

INRA-PEIMA is partner in the FP7 project AQUAEXCEL funded by the European Commission and launched in March 2011. AQUAEXCEL aims to coordinate and improve access to top class European aquaculture research facilities. On a regular basis, the project invites proposals from European research groups to utilize the facilities of any of the participating 23 Aquaculture Research Infrastructures.



[1] Tanguy H, 2008, rapport final de la mission sur le développement de l’aquaculture. MAP/MEEDDAT, 43pp+annexes

[2] Commission des Communautés Européennes, 2009. Building a sustainable future for aquaculture : A new impetus for the strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture. COM(2009)162 final

[3] Milana G., 2009. Donner un nouvel élan à la stratégie pour le développement durable de l’aquaculture européenne. Rapport de la Commission de la Pêche du Parlement Européen (2009/2107(INI) - PE439.290v01-00)

[4] Avis du Comité économique et social européen sur la «Communication de la Commission au Parlement européen et au Conseil – Construire un avenir durable pour l’aquaculture. Donner un nouvel élan à la stratégie pour le développement durable de l’aquaculture européenne» (2011/C18/10), JOCE, 19-01-2011, pp59-53

[5] FA0, 2011. State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010.

fertilisation of fish eggs