Murcia, June 6 (EFE).- The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), the University of Murcia (UMU), Taxon Estudios Ambientales and the Ricardo Fuentes business group from Murcia have begun a study to find out the complete physiology of Atlantic bluefin tuna .
Its objective is to establish criteria that help ensure the well-being of bluefin tuna and the conservation of this species, in addition to contributing to the sustainability of the fishing industry.
To do this, the researchers are analyzing baseline blood parameters and levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, in order to obtain information about their general health.
Another factor that they are studying is the microbial population in the intestine present in these tunas, microorganisms that play a fundamental role in regulating their immune system and metabolism.
“Knowing the physiology of this species is vital to guarantee its well-being. Analyzing different aspects of their biology allows us to understand how their body works and how they respond to different external stimuli, improving the conditions of the species and fishing practices” explained Antonio Belmonte, Grupo Ricardo Fuentes technical-scientific advisor.
The experts are examining samples and comparing them with each other, from bluefin tuna recently caught in the traps, with those fed in the hatchery for more than six months and those born in captivity.
The specimens examined come from the Infrastructure for the Control of Bluefin Tuna Reproduction (ICRA), belonging to the IEO, and from the Barbate trap (Cádiz), as well as from the hatchery located in El Gorguel (Cartagena), both owned by Grupo ‘Ricardo Fuentes’.
The project is integrated and financed through the Complementary Plans of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia in the area of Marine Sciences.