CFEED produces copepod eggs for the marine larviculture industry. Industrial copepod production is a novel business concept still in early stage, and CFEED is to date the only operational company producing copepod eggs for the marine larviculture sector worldwide.
Selective breeding is a powerful tool to increase the performance of a population for desirable traits, and fecundity is a highly heritable trait in copepods which makes selective breeding a promising approach to permanently increase egg production in a population. The project "Selective Breeding of Copepods " will, for the first time, initiate a selective breeding program for the copepod species Acartia tonsa to improve egg production rates for the current, commercial copepod population. This will reduce labour costs and increase productivity and profitability for CFEED.
Copepod production is today a highly manual operation. Automation would enable rapid production scale-up and business expansion, but it will require development and integration of unique hardware and control systems. In SELCOP, we aim to design, build and implement fully autonomous copepod production tanks in CFEEDs factory wherein the genetic gains of the selective breeding program will be evaluated in semi-commercial scale. These innovations will facilitate sustainable company growth in terms of increased production volumes and economic competitiveness, and unique technology which in turn will enable higher turnovers and more competitive pricing.