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[EPFC] Newsletter April: EPFC Core Group & Aquaculture Europe.


Foundation of EPFC Core Group

Since its inauguration in 2012, EPFC was operated as a thematic group under the auspices of EAS and was supported by the pro bono activities of its five coordinators: Stefan Meyer, Tomas Policar, Stefan Teerlinck, Damien Toner and Daniel Zarski. Although this voluntary contribution has brought EPFC forward to where it is today, we had the feeling EPFC needs to professionalize and go to the next level of cooperation and commitment.

Therefore, we decided to start the EPFC Core Group (EPFC-CG).

What is the goal of EPFC-CG:

  • bring commercial and scientific stakeholders in the percid culture together in a closed group, with clearly defined rules of play, tangible added value and mutual respect for the individual position (e.g. IPRs, state of business)
  • identify the relevant bottlenecks, that prevent the further growth and success of the sector, translate these bottlenecks into relevant scientific, technical research questions in order to solve these bottlenecks. This list of research questions will be part of the EPFC strategic research and innovation agenda (EPFC-SRIA). The EPFC-SRIA will be a living document, that all EPFC-CG members can refer to and contribute his/her solution(s) and managed by the EPFC-CG manager.

EPFC-CG members can be producers or other companies from the percid supply chain as well as research organizations and universities. Each partner commits himself with an annual fee of 1000 euro for at least 3 years. In return, EPFC-CG helps to clarify what the bottlenecks are that need to be solved in order to reach the EPFC-CG goals. Research institutes or R&D-oriented companies commit themselves to prioritize their own research activities in line with the recommendations of the EPFC-SRIA and to communicate these activities and outcomes in due time with the EPFC-CG. Company members have the ability to steer the research performed by the core group R&D members (research institutions, R&D oriented companies) and get first hand access to research results.

This is an important first step towards joint cooperation among companies in a hitherto unpreceded way. The company members of EPFC-CG are producing under very similar market conditions and are to some extend also competitors. On the other hand, these companies have secured their market share by their unique positioning as RAS producers in Europa. Hence, they all have a common interest to improve the stability and profitability of their production. With this in mind, it all of a sudden makes sense to exchange on for example new approaches to start a selection program, to exchange on certain best practices in production and to exchange on other subjects of strategic importance. The most tangible benefit of a EPFC-CG membership for research & development members is the access to really relevant complementary research topics from the core group, access to the SRIA as backup for fundraising on national level (e.g. EMFF) and support by EPFC-CG in raising money as preferred partner in project consortia.

On February 20th and 21st, the EPFC-CG had its first meeting at the Inagro institute in Rumbeke, Belgium. EPFC-CG members were welcomed by Stefan Teerlinck, Head of research aquaculture and insect production at Inagro, and his team. In total 19 core group members attended the meeting, representing 15 companies and institutions from across Europe. The represented companies are all SMEs, mostly producers of perch and pikeperch but also RAS system suppliers and retailers. During the two-day meeting, participants had time to exchange on the most relevant subjects with relevance to production. All meeting participants were asked to prepare a short homework in preparation of the meeting to think about bottlenecks, things they want to improve, tackle,…  in their respective company concerning:

  • Broodstock (management, selection, domestication)
  • Larviculture
  • Grow-out
  • Feeds (broodstock, larvae, grow-out)
  • Technic (RAS, grading)
  • Disease
  • Welfare

After some first general sessions on exchange and get-to-know, the second day of the meeting was exclusively used to work through this list of homework, and we can proudly confirm that every company and research institution had made his/her homework! Stefan and his team member Edson Panana Villalobos went scrupulously through the list and every representative in the room described their current status, problems and solutions to this. Many information shared during this tour-de-table gave cause to vivid ad hoc discussions by the members. After the meeting, Stefan and his team compiled the outcome of the discussion to a first draft version of the EPFC-SRIA, which will be finalized among members during spring. Members will then allocate their R&D resources according to these recommendations and contribute to the growing pool of knowledge of the EPFC-CG. The EPFC-SRIA is a confidential document that is exclusively accessible to EPFC-CG members.

EPFC will continue to conduct regular workshops during the Aquaculture Europe conference (except in 2019, because of NordicRAS), hand-on training workshops on special subjects (e.g. pikeperch reproduction) and will also continue to work as a network of professionals and enthusiasts (via website, newsletter, LinkedIN). Relevant findings from the research and other work conducted by the EPFC-CG will be shared with the whole EPFC network and broader community whenever adequate and timely. The Core Group is open to new members. If you are interested to join the Core Group, please send an Email to



EPFC Workshop 2019 at Aquaculture Europe 2019

In 2019, EPFC will not organize a dedicated workshop on the setup day of the Aquaculture Europe 2019 conference.

Instead, we would like to draw your attention to the following alternative activities before/during Aquaculture Europe 2019:

  1. EAS excursion pikeperch RAS facility "LFA Hohen Wangelin"
    On Sunday, 06. October, EAS will organize an excursion to visit the RAS facility of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Research Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries (Landesforschungsanstalt, LFA) in Hohen Wangelin.
    There we will be welcomed by EPFC-CG member Marcus Stüeken, who will give us a detailled insight into the work of the institute.
    Visit the AE19 conference website for more info. You have to register for the conference in order to sign up for the excursion. If you have any trouble with this, please contact
  2. EPFC and friends dinner in Berlin
    On Sunday, 06. October, right after the excursion, EPFC and all percid friends and colleagues will meet for an informal dinner in a restaurant near the conference venue (ESTREL, at 19.00. Further details to be announced soon. If you plan to join the dinner, but not the excursion, please send an email to
  3. NordicRAS workshop 2019
    The NordicRAS workshop will take place back-to-back with Aquaculture Europe, starting on Monday 07. October and continuing on Tuesday 08 October morning. All EPFC members are encouraged to join this high-quality workshop! A lot of very relevant presentations on various aspects of RAS, inscluding percids, will be presented there.
    When you register for NordicRAS, you will receive a discount on your Aquaculture Europe 2019 conference registration and vice-versa. There will also be a NordicRAS conference dinner on Monday evening, 07. October. But you better be quick! Tickets are very limited for this event! Visit the NordicRAS website for more info:
  4. EAS Industry Forum
    On Tuesday, 08. October, there will be an EAS Industry Forum for all producers and practical people. The forum will be part of the AE trade show. For access to the trade show, you will need a trade show pass. For free tickets, please contact
  5. EPFC Core Group Meeting (members only)
    On Tuesday, 08. October evening, the Core Group members will meet for a short (2h) informal meeting. Participation for CG members only.
  6. EPFC Percid Fish session
    On one of the conference days (tbc) there will be a scientific session on all aspects of percid fish culture, hosted by our colleague Daniel Zarski. See further info here.

Call for Abstracts! Session "PERCID FISH" at Aquaculture Europe 2019

Scope of the session

The general scope of the session is to open the discussion on the aquaculture of percids which, although quite varied, can presently be condensed into a few problematic areas, identified by stakeholders as curtailing expansion. The session will include four sub-themes, covering the most important fields and challenges facing the expansion of percid aquaculture. In effect the abstracts should meet, although not limited to, at least one of the following sub-themes:

  1. Production technology of percids
    high quality papers related to various steps of production technology (this includes: hatchery technologies, broodstock management, larval rearing technologies, ongrowing, controlled reproduction, physiology, nutrition, husbandry practices, selective breeding, identification of traits for selection, etc.) of percid fishes, particularly relating to  intensive aquaculture production are among the priorities of this session. Authors are welcome to present their novel ideas, concepts as well as to critically review the existing knowledge or their own experiences on development of feasible technologies for production of percid fishes.

  2. Production systems for percid fishes
    novel production systems, concepts as well as innovation activities amongst existing state-of-the-art production systems for percid fishes may be presented. Authors are encouraged to share their experiences from the design step, through validation and necessary modernisation influencing efficient aquaculture.

  3. Application of biotechnological approaches to percid fishes
    specific biotechnological approaches (including cryopreservation, germ cell transplantation, chromosome set manipulation, single-sex-stocks production, genetic-based selection, etc.) are among the future challenges for a growing aquaculture sector, including emerging species such as percids. Therefore, authors are warmly welcome to submit abstracts related to the application of any of the biotechnological tools in the production process of percid fishes.

  4. Challenges in socio-economy of percids
    every new fish species targeted for aquaculture production is faced with the challenges of reaching a suitable marketplace. Authors involved in the socio-economical aspects, including marketing and product development of percid fish species, are highly encouraged to submit their papers to this particular session.

Instruction for submission

To submit an abstract to the ‘percid session’ please go to:

Next, click ‘submit abstract’ and follow the instructions displayed. Please note, that in the second step of the submission there is a section ‘Topic & Paper Title’ in which you are required to choose from the drop-down menu, a session to which your paper will be assigned. From this list please chose the session: “PS30 Percid fish

We are looking forward your attendance in Berlin this Autumn!

For further info on Aquaculture Europe, please visit the official conference website at EAS.

Founding members of the EPFC Core Group during the kick-off meeting at INagro, 20-21 February 2019 at Inagro, Belgium

Session announcement