Fishing & rearing devices

CAPTILARVES – Haute-Garonne lakes (France)


The capture of larvae from marine coastal animals (Ecocean’s core business) has proved to be a good tool to study and better understand the early stages of the life cycle of fish or crustaceans and to obtain new knowledge about the dynamics of communities living in coastal areas. Thus, hundreds of marine species were captured in the state of post-larvae then bred at land. The technique that stems from this knowledge - the PCC for "Post-larval Capture and Culture" - was first launched in tropical, marine environments, and from 2009 it has been tested and established in temperate environments (Mediterranean). The use of this new method in European inland waters is still very rare, even though it helps provide new elements for the understanding of a key phase of the life cycle of freshwater fish.

Interests and objectives

The project was specifically designed to test and validate this technique in 2014 - in both lakes of Lamartine site (Commune of Roques sur Garonne). It has led to the capture of fish larvae in fresh water using CAREs - passive fishing gear using a light attractor - and monitoring of their laboratory growth. To assess its reliability as a new bio-indication tool to help managers better understand the dynamics and the factors structuring lentic fish communities (living within calm/slow water renewal ecosystems) and - forward - its potential use in monitoring restoration projects.

R&D works:

The work lead by the teams of the EDB laboratories - Evolution and Biological Diversity (UMR 5174 EDB: CNRS / University Paul Sabatier / ENFA) and Ecolab - Functional Ecology & Environment (UMR 5245 CNRS / University Paul Sabatier / ENSAT), but also by Ecocean and Haute-Garonne fishing federation helped adapt the CARE technology to shallow depths and get information about particular species fishing period, the size of captured individuals and morphological characteristics of these very young stages of life.

Future Prospects:

Eventually, these results might represent a good health indicator for lakes (abundance and diversity of PL collected) and lead to a possible restoration of some wild fish populations. A first post-larvae identification guide of these lakes has been published, including pictures of various stages of development.


Project sheet Captilarves (PDF)

IAMC Project – Coast of Sicily (Italy)


The team of Dr. Giovanni D'Anna (CNR-IMAC) studies coastal fish recruitment in the granitola Torreta bay in Sicily. To better understand the processes at the local level, the project is to deploy 33 CAREs from Ecocean to capture and study the post-larvae. To breed the captured post-larvae, NRC also decided to acquire a 20 feet Wetlab Nursery. The nursery has been specially designed and adapted to the project requirements (breeding capacity of 2000L) dedicated to post-larvae.

Interests & objectives

This project uses the PCC technique (Post larval capture and culture) to study the population dynamics of local coastal marine animals as well as the connectivity between ecosystems.

Impacts and expected benefits

• Improved knowledge of the life cycle of coastal fish
• Improved knowledge of abundance and seasonality of post-larvae recruitment in the study area.
• Post-larvae identification.
• Scientific publication


Project sheet IAMC (PDF)