Polyculture of the European crayfish (Astacus astacus) in association with European whitefish (Coregonus sp.)


The goal of this project is to evaluate, if the co-culture of highly valued fish species of the genus Coregonus (C. maraena and C. macrophthalmus) in association with the European crayfish (Astacus astacus) can be mutually beneficial for these species. Integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) - the combined culture of several species participating in different trophic resources has proven to create more balanced systems with regard to economic stability, output of organic nutrients and social acceptability, when compared to conventional monoculture approaches. We therefore would like to determine if crayfish can utilize surplus fish feed and faeces of coregonids as their primary food resource, in order to reduce the overall output of organic nutrients into the ambient water body, as well as to decrease costs for feeding, which can be considered the single most important cost factor in aquaculture.

Additional to the integrated aquaculture of these species the prevention of disease outbreaks lies in the focus of our research. Coregonids have been shown to be highly susceptible towards various pathogens under culture conditions (furunculosis, vibriosis, viral haemorrhagic septicaemia) and crayfish are threatened by the Crayfish plague Aphanomyces astaci and several other pathogens. Therefore we would like to develop real time PCR- based identification methods for the most relevant pathogens of these species in order to tests these species prior to stocking in respective culture systems.

Coregonous Astacus

Financial support

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Project partners

  • Uni Kiel

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  • Senect Aquatic Technology

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  • Krebsucht Oeversee
  • Steinbeis Global Institue Tübingen

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Since 10/2015


Matthias Hundt

Prof. Dr. Ralf Schulz