Microalgae in aquaculture

The laboratory is actively researching ways to improve phytoplanktonic production in bivalve mollusc hatcheries. These projects aim to support French hatcheries faced with irregularities in natural spat capture procedures, and the arrival on the market of new products such as seed oysters produced by genetic selection.
In this context, two complementary initiatives have been implemented:

  • A technique for continuous phytoplankton culture

This offers some tangible advantages, especially with regard to stabilizing algal populations quantitatively and qualitatively. To perfect this technique, and to ensure its enhancement in the future, we will need to deepen our study of microalgae physiology. Laboratory studies are therefore directed to analyzing the consumption of mineral compounds and the way the biochemical composition of microalgae is affected by the culture conditions they are subject to. The effect of environmental factors such as light, pH, and temperature on culture development is also studied.

  • A tool for microalgae production designed specifically for larvae production units in mollusc hatcheries

These advances in technology have been achieved with the development and characterization of a continuous culture pilot photobioreactor, in the framework of a CIFRE thesis financed by a local company, Jouin Solutions Plastique. This first phase of the project is currently being extended in the framework of a transfer agreement, in turn supported by a CIFRE thesis project managed by the company Vendée Naissain, that itself aims to demonstrate the technology’s potential for use in commercial hatcheries. The aim is to provide French commercial mollusc hatcheries with an automated and robust tool that caters for their individual exploitation constraints and guarantees high-level production performances.