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Laboratory of Fisheries and Aquaculture

Head of the laboratory: dr. Nerijus Nika
Contacts: nerijus.nika@ku.lt

The modern fisheries and marine aquaculture laboratory is open to scientists, students and business. Favourable conditions have been created for cooperation between research and study institutions and economic entities in the fisheries sector.

Laboratory Functions:

  1. Carries out research of commercial fish resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial sea of the Republic of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea, forecasts their change, prepares recommendations for their rational use, conservation and increase;
  2. Develops and implements programs for the maintenance, restoration and increase of commercial fish stocks;
  3. Collects, stores and analyses biological data required for the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy;
  4. Scientifically and technically evaluates the problems arising in sea and freshwater fishing, seeks possible solutions;
  5. Collects statistical data on fish resources, fishing and other information required to represent Lithuania’s fishing interests in international organizations;
  6. Provides information on the latest scientific, technological and technical achievements to Lithuanian fisheries entities;
  7. Carries out aquaculture research, preparing and implementing R&D services, international projects, organizing the KU study process, commercializing the knowledge and experience gained by providing services to business.

Equipment:

  1. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). The laboratory has three separate RAS:
    • caviar incubation system with horizontal, vertical and Weiss-type incubators
    • 12 pcs. 2 m diameter x 1 m deep pools
    • 4 pcs. fish rearing and reproduction systems in large 3 m diameter x 1 m depth basins

    All systems are autonomous, equipped to supply fresh and sea water, automatically control and maintain the basic parameters of the aquatic environment. All pools are equipped with automatic fish feeders.

  2. Mesocosm system consists of 12 units large volume (4 m high, 3 cubic meters) integrated modules. Each module has an autonomous heating / cooling system that can maintain different temperatures in different depth layers, simulating thermal stratification. Temperature maintenance limits + 5 ° C … + 25 ° C. Containers can be covered with sealed lids, there is a possibility to saturate the water with the desired gas, to create anaerobic conditions. The system can perform experiments with organisms at several nutritional levels, eutrophication processes, plankton food chains, biogeochemical cycles, bioaccumulation mechanisms.
  3. Stream channel is a transparent 8 m long and 1 m wide basin designed to study the dynamics of open channel flow, hydraulic, sediment transport and deposition processes, ecology of macroalgae and higher aquatic plants (e.g. sediment deposition potential, resistance to hydrodynamic effects, etc.), the ecology and behaviour of aquatic animals (invertebrates, lampreys and fish). In the middle of the channel at the bottom is an experimental section for housing sediment columns. By adjusting the slope of the flow channel, the flow velocity of a water column 0.1-0.6 m deep is created from 0.05 to more than 1 m / s. The canal is a single circuit with recirculating but biologically untreated water, so experiments with living systems would be limited in duration.
  4. Spectrophotometer for the analysis of water chemical parameters (IRIS HI-801, Hanna Instruments)
  5. Water parameter measuring devices for oxygen content, pH, salinity; multimeter
  6. Water parameter loggers for temperature, oxygen, electrical conductivity, water level, light intensity (PME miniDOT, Onset)
  7. Microplate respirometry system (Loligo Systems, Denmark) for real-time respiration of small organisms (caviar, larvae, zooplankton individuals) in 24 non-invasive chambers.
  8. Deep cooling (-80oC) freezer
  9. Biological sample preparation equipment
  10. Water treatment system
  11. Microplate reader (Varioscan Lux, Fisher Scientific)
  12. Laboratory equipment for biological analysis of fish (measurement, weighing, preparation, etc.)
  13. Otolith research equipment
  14. Equipment for the study of the structure and resources of fish stocks at sea, lagoons, lakes and rivers (electric fishing apparatus IG200 / 2B (Hans-Grassl, Germany), construction nets (18-130 mm), bottom and pelagic trawl, mesh trawl, traps, acoustic research system Simrad)
  15. Fish automatic recorder Riverwatcher (2 pcs.)
  16. Motorboat