AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in EUropean fish research 3.0 | - CCMAR -

AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in EUropean fish research 3.0

Short Title 
Budget CCMAR 
Comissão Europeia
11/2020 to 10/2025


Main info

AQUAEXCEL3.0 builds on the previous AQUAEXCEL(FP7) and AQUAEXCEL2020 (H2020) projects and aims to further ensure research is aligned with industry needs, to boost the EU aquaculture sector by expanding the Transnational Access programme, and to develop new tools to keep pace with rapid scientific development and add value to existing tools and resources to benefit all users.

AQUAEXCEL3.0 is a research infrastructure project to support the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector in Europe. It includes leading European aquaculture research facilities that work towards advanced integration and standardization of tools for aquaculture research.


A major feature of AQUAEXCEL3.0 is its TRANSNATIONAL ACCESS (TNA) program, allowing external researchers to access the partners’ facilities via submission of research proposals, which are funded based on the evaluation by an independent selection panel.


Access is offered to 40 unique research infrastructures, with experimental costs, travel and subsistence covered by AQUAEXCEL3.0. The available facilities cover the entire range of production systems, environments, scales, fish species and fields of expertise. Further, enlarge the TNA offer by including access to shellfish and macroalgae infrastructures, and by integrating fish production in Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) settings, with shellfish, macro-algae but also insects and marine worms. Access is available to EU and Associated States’ research teams, industry, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), based on the scientific excellence of proposals and relevance to the aquaculture sector.

More information about CCMAR Infrastructure offer and TNA applications HERE.


Approved projects

The Applicant  Kennedy Bolstad from Simon Fraser University (Canada) will use in 2022, CCMAR Ramalhete Experimental Station facilities to perform the TNA project  "Development and growth of Senegalese sole exposed to different light regimes or endocrine transcriptional regulators" (PID18805).

This research will use the Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) to investigate how its growth and retinal development are affected by the spectrum of light and two regulators of cell differentiation: thyroid hormone (TH) and retinoic acid (RA). The rearing light regime affects hatching time, the ability of larvae to detect food, and the incidence of malformations. It also affects endogenous levels of transcriptional regulators like TH and RA, which are critical for organ development, growth and a successful metamorphosis. This research will expose Senegalese sole from the fertilized egg to different light spectra (blue, green, red, white, darkness) to identify a light regime that is optimal for retinal development, successful metamorphosis and growth in aquaculture. The actions of TH and RA will also be explored as modulators of retinal development and growth. This research is important to devise optimal rearing light regimes for the welfare and growth of Senegalese sole in aquaculture.





Name Position
Ana Margarida Amaral General Management
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Ana Margarida Amaral
General Management