The fish larva: a transitional life form, the foundation for acquaculture and fisheries Report from a working group on research on early life stages of fish
Knowledge about early life stages in fish – eggs, larvae, fry and smolts – is critical for a number of high-priority areas in aquaculture research, both in Norway and abroad. Experience has shown that major bottlenecks occur in the early life stages, slowing efforts to commercialise new production species. As a rule, stringent requirements in terms of nutrition and physical/chemical/microbial environment must be met to ensure proper development and high survival rates during the early life stages. The causes of permanent malformations often arise in the early stages of development, to the detriment of fish welfare and performance in production. Regarding wild stocks, basic knowledge about early life stages may provide insight into how the fish adapt to their environment and survive under various conditions. Status of and strategies for research on development and function in early life stages of fish, and on the use of model species for mapping basic biological processes.