Contract no. 286200

Period 01.01.2012 – 29.06.2014.

Coordinator: Albert K. Imsland, Akvaplan-niva AS, Framsenteret, 9296 Tromsø, Norway

Structure of MAXIMUS

The proposed work program of MAXIMUS is been segmented into 5 distinct work-packages (WP) as displayed by the flow diagram below.

The objectives of the current proposal will be achieved through a series of small and large scale experiments, providing a scientific rationale for the establishment of sound stunning methods and effective husbandry strategies designed to optimize production, minimize maturation and accelerate growth of turbot in high-density land-based rearing systems. The research program is structured according to five main work packages (WP), each consisting of a number of tasks. Each of the five project work packages will be carried out under the direction of one project partner. The work package leader will coordinate the delivery of specified outcomes, as follows:

WP 1 (APN)

The major objective of WP1 is to develop optimal rearing methods. These studies combine novel experimental approach, physiological techniques and new neuro-endocrinological methods applicable for turbot and other demersal aquaculture species. The aim is to minimize production time of turbot and to find an appropriate photoperiod regime and diet composition that will allow the farmer to control maturation and growth in the on-growing phase, and thus exploit far better his available resources (seawater, space/land, energy, man power, logistics, and feed).The workplan includes studies on the effect of rearing fish under extended photoperiods on age of first maturity and inhabitation of precocious maturation, the development of optimal growth diets for turbot farming, the monitoring of effect of the different rearing and feeding conditions in the susceptibility of turbot to microbial infections, as well as determining how these new rearing regimes effect the flesh quality of the fish.


In WP 2 the temperature tolerance of turbot will be investigating identifying endocrinological, osmoregulatory, respiratory and neurological limits for this species, depending on the environmental conditions. On basis of the outcome of this task a conclusion will be draw on the welfare aspects of controlled live chilling as stunning method. In addition, neurological assessment (EEG and ECG recordings) of fish exposed to electrical stunning will be analyzed to assess its effectiveness during slaughter. On the basis of the above findings, the partner consortium will develop new stunning methods for improved welfare and optimized harvesting in farmed turbot. These methods will be developed without compromising the quality of the end product (flesh quality, content and yield). For testing in a commercial setting, a prototype for “dry” electrical stunning will be designed, constructed and tested at a full commercial scale. The prototype will also be tested on European sole.


This work package aims at reworking an internationally acknowledged quality assurance system to monitor and safeguard welfare during rearing and at slaughter. The concept is currently used at companies as tool to control processes. It is foreseen that the system can be adapted for monitoring and safeguarding welfare of turbot during farming and at slaughter.


Commercialisation and increased profitability are dealt with in WP4. In order to achieve a positive response from the market, excellent quality must be guaranteed. With this objective in mind, a thorough comparison of the economics of the new farming technology systems versus conventional farming systems will be performed.

WP 5 (APN)

The last WP (WP5) focuses on the overall project management - coordination of RTD work, exploitation, dissemination and training. The work will cover the full duration of the project, receiving a continuous flow of information from all work-packages in progress at each particular moment. All the partners will participate and contribute under this topic. This methodology will be useful not only for the consortium itself, but for the individual partners as well.