Since 2000, one of the objectives of the FBHRG is to establish the scientific bases for the culture of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) culture, at the commercial level. This was due to needs of the new species for aquaculture (the species short life cycle and fast growth rates imply lower production periods and associated costs) and to the fact that there is potential for further exploitation, particularly with regard to the production of undersized individuals (which would reduce the impact of illegal catches on this species from the natural environment). These smallest individuals are considered a delicacy and have the highest commercial value in Portugal.
Throughout this period the group has also focused its attention on the development and optimization of the rearing protocols of candidate species for aquaculture, namely, the Atlantic ditch shrimp, Palaemonetes varians and two Syngnathidae fish, the long snout seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus and the broad-nosed pipefish, Syngnathus typhle. This shrimp species can be produced as live diet for more demanding aquaculture reared species (e.g. Syngnathidae fish) and also for human consumption, as this, is a locally valuable species both in Portugal and Spain. H. guttulatus is a European Syngnathidae species, protected under the CITES agreement and as other Hippocampus species faces the reduction of habitats with a consequent decrease of the natural populations. Hippocampus sp. suffer negative pressure on their wild populations due to activities such as trawling fisheries, illegal captures for commercial purposes and excessive noise produced by nautical activities. Its artificial production provides not only a valuable product for the international ornamental fish trade, but also a powerful tool for the species management. The conservation of S. typhle generally follows the topics mentioned above for H. guttulatus and its artificial production endorses the same goals.
This is in accordance to a defined strategy of the CCMAR in terms of new species to be introduced in aquaculture as well to an strategy of implementing the CCMAR as the European Reference Laboratory in terms of new species for aquaculture.