The availability of knowledge and experience regarding the culture of various species was examined during the study of aquaculture in the countries bordering the Mediterranean, and is summarized in Table 8. Coastal aquaculture technology is relatively more advanced in the region in France, Italy and Spain. Major advances in the study of pathology and nutrition, as well as in the development of culture systems, have occurred in these countries and in Israel. It is logical that these efforts should be continued and expanded to expedite development of technology ready for application at production level in suitable locations throughout the region. Specific projects in other countries, such as hatchery research and development in Greece, Tunisia, Yugoslavia and Egypt, could provide additional technological methods which can be applied in the region. Even then the technology developed in one country would need testing in others to ensure its applicability to the local environment.
Valuable experience relating to certain aquaculture systems or techniques is also available in a number of other countries of the region; for example, projects in pond culture in Egypt and Tunisia, cage culture of sea bass in Cyprus and Yugoslavia, and hatchery techniques for sea bass and sea bream in Tunisia and Yugoslavia. The technology for commercial culture of oysters and mussels is well developed in Tunisia and Yugoslavia and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
The survey indicated that an exchange of technological methods among the countries bordering the Mediterranean would be the most appropriate and speedy way of expanding and improving aquaculture in the region. It should, however, be noted that there is a need for existing technological methods to be improved and tested under different conditions before application by large and small-scale aquatic farmers. The need for intensified research on some of the recently introduced techniques, such as the hatching and rearing of sea bass, sea bream, mullet, sole and shrimp, is obvious. Research and development efforts should therefore be continued and expanded in the region. Where necessary, this should be followed up by pilot-scale testing in conjunction with economic evaluation in order to determine suitability for commercial application.
AVAILABILITY OF TECHNOLOGY FOR EXPANSION OF AQUACULTURE
A = Not all the problems have been solved but enough will be known to encourage commercial ventures in the near future
B = Research or development is in progress with some significant results
C = Research or development is in early stages
Looking toward the future, it will be necessary to maintain the proper relation between production costs and market price in order to achieve economic success in aquaculture using advanced systems. An economic analysis is needed to determine the various components of production costs. This should lead to concentration of efforts on those components contributing the most to the cost of production.
Engineering efforts are needed to design aquaculture systems that can be built at minimum cost and operated efficiently.
Energy will be an increasing cost of aquaculture systems which may require the use of pumps, filtering and re-use of water, maintaining satisfactory temperatures and oxygen levels, as well as controlling waste products. Special attention should be given to the use of solar heat, thermal effluents, and geothermal waters. Furthermore, the use of wind power for pumping water, and greenhouses or other systems for extending growing seasons by reducing heat loss, should be considered.
Production costs might also be reduced by modifying certain characteristics of the cultured species by selective breeding, cross-breeding, or other means of genetic improvements. In this way, growth rates, disease resistance, fecundity or food conversion rates might be improved.