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Collection of samples (scales, otoliths, etc.)

("ichthyological" samples)

Scale collection
Visualising scales
Scale close-up

U3E is in charge of Colisa (COLection of Ichthyological SAmples), which in 2018 was approved as an official biological resource centre by IBISA, the oversight body for infrastructures in biology, health and agricultural science. Colisa is part of BRC4env, one of the five pillars of the French specialist research infrastructure for agricultural resources for research, AgroBRC-RARe.

The fish scale and otolith samples come from:

  • Long-term research and monitoring programmes conducted by INRA's U3E unit in Rennes, the ECOBIOP research unit in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle under the DiaPFC environmental monitoring structure, and the CARRTEL research unit in Thonon-les-Bains under OLA a long-term monitoring and experimentation structure for environmental research focused on Alpine lakes
  • Salmonid catch reports by anglers and professional fishers, which are processed by CNICS (Centre national d’interprétation des captures de salmonidés) under the Migratory Fish hub.

The collection contains over 200,000 samples from 26 species of fish and lampreys. They were all collected in France, over a period of more than 46 years.

On the science side, the collection is useful for characterising individual fish and fish populations, both past and current, including individuals' life history traits, the evolution of populations' genetic diversity, and changes in the environmental conditions they live and evolve in.

In terms of practical application, the collection is useful for designing operations to protect and manage populations of harvested species, defining quotas (TACs) and fishing season dates, etc. The information contained in the samples can also be mined to review past population management schemes. Some of the species concerned are protected (IUCN Red List) or regarded as heritage species.

Contact: Frédéric Marchand