Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA)

IRTA is a research Institute owned by the Government of Catalonia adscribed to the Department of Agriculture. It is regulated by Law 04/2009, passed by the Catalan Parliament on 15 April 2009, and it is ruled by private regulation. IRTA’s mission is to contribute to modernising, improving, boosting competitiveness, and fostering sustainable development in the sectors of agriculture, food, agroforestry, aquaculture, and fishing. The Aquaculture Programme  is focused on  research regarding reproduction, nutrition, larval rearing and pathology for new and established aquatic species, mainly of marine Mediterranean organisms (fish and molluscs).  

Dr. Alicia Estévez  research focuses on zootechnology of marine organisms, studies on nutritional requirements of broodstock, larvae and juveniles and the development of inert diets.  Dr. Enric Gisbert research is also focused  in larval fish nutrition,  evaluating the impact of the diet on larval development and quality with special emphasis on the acquisition and development of digestive capacities and morphogenesis of the skeletal system. Both researchers have carried out in the last years research in collaboration with feed companies (Skretting, Biomar, Dibaq) to study the substitution of fish derived ingredients (fish meal and fish oil) using vegetable-derived products like in the present proposal.