Former Research

Former projects of the department

Aquanet

Year: 2006-2008
Aquanet and its sister project, Fishnet, are exchange programmes. The programme supports travel for students and instructors in Europe.
Funding: The Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

AquaTnet
From: 1996
A collaborative project among university-level institutions offering courses in aquaculture. The project aims to seek the means to foster collaboration concerning teaching and to integrate aquaculture teaching in the European countries.
Funding: The European Union.

The effects of genes and environment on dwarfism and muscle development in Arctic charr
From: 2002
The project focused in particular on muscle development in various morphs of Arctic charr at various temperatures. Also studied was the control of growth in charr. A subsequent study on the importance of competition and ecological factors for muscle development in charr will begin in the fall of 2007. The projects are carried out in collaboration with the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Funding: The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Improved water usage in charr aquaculture
From 2006
The water requirement in aquaculture is enormous, and the factor that ultimately limits the size and production capacity of fish farms is access to hot and cold water. The aim of the project is to test a simple and inexpensive method of reducing water usage in charr farming. It is expected that water for charr farming could be utilised four times more efficiently than it is at present. Improved utilisation of water would make it possible to increase productivity at fish farms without requiring more water. Other options for improved water utilisation in aquaculture are to reduce temperature fluctuations and raise the cultivation temperature; both result in improved fish growth. Parties to the project are Hólar University College, Matís, and Hólalax.
Funding: The Technological Development Fund.

COST 867
From 2005
Hólar University College is a participant in the project called COST Action 867 Welfare of Fish in European Aquaculture. The aim of the project is to lead discussions of the welfare of fish in aquaculture. Consumer interest in animal welfare is increasing, and numerous retail chain stores now make requirements regarding the conditions to which animals are subjected during the production of fish and meat. It is therefore important that aquaculturists be able respond to these discussions with scientific arguments. This project involves the search for science-based benchmarks for fish welfare in aquaculture. These benchmarks will then be utilised to formulate, in consultation with aquaculturists, quality standards based on fish welfare.
Funding: The European Union.

FishACE
Year: 2005-2008
This project, is a European collaborative project, on the effects of fishing on the gene pools of fish stocks. A large number of PhD students and Post-Doc work in the project. At Hólar University College one PhD student focuses on Arctic charr.
Funding: The Leonardo programme of the European Union.

The Arctic charr breeding program
Year: From 1992
In 1998, Hólar University College and the Ministry of Agriculture concluded a special agreement pertaining to the breeding of Icelandic Arctic charr.
The agreement guarantees the breeding project operational capital and sets an administrative framework for it.
The project centers on the breeding of farmed charr in accordance with breeding goals, and the sale of eggs to domestic fish farms. Collaborators are: Silfurstjarnan hf., Íslandsbleikja ehf., Hólalax hf., Háafell ehf., and the project’s breeding committee. The results of the project have been presented at conferences and in the professional aquaculture journal Eldisfréttir.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund (from 1992-1997) and the Ministry of Agriculture (from 1998 onward).

Study of the diversity of dwarf charr in comparison with other charr stocks
Year: From 2004
Morphology, genetics, and ecology of various dwarf charr populations was compared with their environment, and the importance of various ecological factors on parallel evolution was examined. This yields much more detailed and precise information on the nature of diversity of Arctic charr and the importance of ecological factors on its evolution than has heretofore been available.
Funding: The Brock Doctoral Fund at the University of Guelph and Rannís.

Study of the diversity of the threespine stickleback
The overall objective is to increase the level of knowledge of the ecology and development of the Icelandic threespine stickleback. The study is intended to increase the understanding of the ecological factors that cause evolution of diversity and to answer important questions about the formation of morphs and species.
Funding: Rannís, The Icelandic Republic fund, The graduate study fund

Studies on Icelandic Groundwater Amphipods
Year: From 1998
Since 1998 about 300 specimens of amphipods (Crustacea) have been found in two localities in lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland and in Grímsnes, south Iceland. The amphipods occur in groundwater and belong to two new species. One species (Crymostygius thingvallensis) belongs to a new family of groundwater amphipods, i.e. the Crymostygidae. This finding is of considerable interest, not only for the discovery of a new species, but because this represents new group of animals in Icelandic freshwater and the first findings of animals in Icelandic groundwater. Groundwater amphipods represent about 12% of all described species of amphipods. They are widely distributed, but usually in small, isolated populations. Little is known of their biogeography and origin. Almost nothing is known on the ecology of groundwater amphipods. This main goal of this project is to examine the distribution of Icelandic groundwater amphipods. The project will provide information on the diversity of Icelandic groundwater amphipods, and will be an important contribution to understanding better the origin of this group. The project will give information on the ecology of groundwater amphipods which has little been studied.
Funding: Rannís.

Líf í lindum
Tímabil 2008 – 2010
Köld og heit lindasvæði eru algeng á Íslandi, sérstaklega innan eldvirka hluta landsins. Fyrir utan vatnshita þá eru þessar lindir ólíkar hvað varðar marga vistfræðilega þætti s.s. næringarefni, sýrustig og botngerð. Markmið þessa verkefnis er að kanna samspil vistfræðilegra þátta og samfélagsgerðar smádýra í lindum. Sérstaklega verður lögð áhersla á að athuga mikilvægi hita, pH, leiðni, viðtaka lindanna (straumvatn eða stöðuvatn) og afráns á smádýrasamfélögin. Verkefnið er unnið sem M.S. verkefni og mun samnýta gögn úr þremur rannsóknaverkefnum auk þess sem nýrra sýna verður aflað. Niðurstöður verkefnisins munu gefa okkur gleggri mynd af samfélögum linda og tengslum vistfræðilegra þátta við þau. Þær upplýsingar munu auka þekkingu okkar á eðli líffræðilegs fjölbreytileika og nýtast við ákvarðanatöku varðandi nýtingu og verndun lindabúsvæða.
Samstarfsaðilar: Veiðimálastofnun, Jón S. Ólafsson

Mikilvægi vistfræðilegra þátta fyrir þróun líffræðilegs fjölbreytileika
Tímabil: 2009 – 2011
Margvíslegar ógnir standa að líffræðilegum fjölbreytileika heimsins. Því er mikilvægt að skilja þá ferla sem mynda, viðhalda og breyta líffræðilegum fjölbreytileika. Sérstaklega er mikilvægt að skilja hvernig þróunar- og vistfræðilegir þættir tengjast saman. Þessir þættir geta starfað á svipuðum tímaskala. Samband vist- og þróunarfræðilegra ferla má rannsaka með tvennum hætti. Annars vegar með því að skoða breytingar yfir tíma í svipfarslegum og erfðafræðilegum þáttum samhliða þekktum breytingum í vistfræðilegum valkröftum. Hins vegar með því að bera saman svipfarslegan og erfðafræðilegan breytileika milli skyldra stofna sem hafa numið land í ólíkum búsvæðum.
Hér verður báðum aðferðum beitt á nýstárlegan hátt til þess að rannsaka þróunarfræðilegar breytingar á smáum skala hjá hornsílum í Mývatni og tjörnum umhverfis það. Síðastliðin 30 ár hefur lífríki Mývatns verið vaktað og í ljós hafa komið miklar sveiflur í þéttleika hryggleysingja og hornsíla. Í Belgjaskógi finnast fjölmargar tjarnir ólíkar að vistgerð. Í mörgum þeirra eru hornsíli. Við munum rannsaka breytingar í útliti og erfðafræði hornsíla í Mývatni og tjörnum í Belgjaskógi til þess að meta hvort: i) þróunarfræðilegir þættir tengist stofnsveiflum og ii) hvernig fjölbreytileiki í umhverfi geti haft áhrif á þróun svipfars á smáum landfræðilegum skala. Niðurstöður munu gefa nýja vísindalega sýn á hvernig vist- og þróunarfræðilegir ferlar tengjast í viðhaldi og breytingum á líffræðilegum fjölbreytileika – sérstaklega m.t.t. samskipta milli tegunda. Rannsóknin mun leiða af sér áframhaldandi rannsóknir á tengslum þessa þátta innan vistfræðilegra samfélaga. Þessi nýja þekking mun hjálpa mikið til við ákvarðanatöku um verndun og notkun náttúrulegra auðlinda okkar.
Samstarfsaðilar: EAWAG, Sviss, Katja Räsänen, Veiðimálastofnun, Jón S. Ólafsson, Náttúrurannsóknarstöðin við Mývatn, Árni Einarsson

The importance of the maternal effect on the behaviour and life history of fish
Year: From 2007
The importance of maternal effects and their role in evolutionary biology have been receiving increased interest. Many studies on maternal effects have considered how the genetic material of the mother may influence progeny’s fitness. However, non-genetic maternal effects can be affected by the environment of the mother and can influence life history of offspring. The objective of this study is to increase our understanding of the importance of non-genetic maternal effects for behavioral variation in fish and relate these results to evolution of diversity. This study is divided in three main parts. The first part is a study on egg size, yolk composition, and their significance for early behaviour of Arctic charr. I will test the hypothesis that egg composition influences juveniles’ behaviour at first feeding. In the second part, I will investigate the relationship between maternal environment, egg composition and foraging behaviour of offspring. The last part of the study will focus on how long maternal effects may last in individual life history. Hypotheses and questions will be studied in both natural and aquaculture populations of Arctic charr, rainbow trout and threespine stickleback. The study will increase our understanding of the importance of maternal effects for the development of behaviour, which can have important consequences for the origin and the maintenance of biological diversity.
Funding: Rannís.

Use of inexpensive proteins in cod feed
Year: From 2003
In this project, an attempt is made to reduce feed costs through the use of less expensive protein. The project is carried out in co- operation with Laxá Feed Mill and the Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories (Now Matís).
Funding: The AVS Fund and the Nordic Industrial Fund.

Territorial and feeding behaviour of 0+ salmonids in rivers
Year: From 2005
Animals vary greatly in how they use and defend their local environment. Animals may, e.g., adopt a sit-and-wait foraging mode and defend small territories, when prey is dense, but actively search for food over large areas when prey is scarce. The goal of this project is to describe the territorial behaviour and foraging mode of the three salmonid species found in Icelandic streams, over their first summer (age = 0+), and examine how this behaviour is affected by prey abundance. In the first part, short observations (20 min) will be made on the foraging mode of 90 fish (30 of each specie) across several rivers, to test whether foraging mode differs among species, and whether more fish adopt a sit-and-wait tactic where drifting prey is abundant. In the latter part, longer observations (1 h) will be made to describe the size, the use, and the defense of the territories of 45 fish (15 of each specie), to test for species differences in territory size and defense, and to test whether this behaviour is affected by prey availability. Territoriality and foraging mode play a major role for individuals and populations. Territory size, and how well territories are defended, are essential to predict the maximum population densities of 0+ salmonids, whereas foraging mode, and the flexibility associated with foraging mode, may provide key insights into the different habitat use of the three species, and whether their geographical distribution is constrained by foraging behaviour.
Funding: Rannís.

Protein needs of Arctic charr
Year: From 2007
The objective of the project is to seek ways to reduce the cost of feed in Arctic charr aquaculture. That objective will be achieved through the study of the protein needs (protein from high-quality capelin meal) of five different size classes of charr. The effects of various protein contents (28-52%) on speed of growth, feed utilisation, digestibility, and the health of the fish will be examined, as will the chemical composition and qualitative properties of the flesh of the fish.
Collaborators are: Hólar University College, Laxá Feed Mill hf., Matís ohf., and Hólalax hf.
Funding: The AVS Fund.

Competitive halibut farming in land based fish farms
Year: 2005-2008
The objective of the project is to enhance the competitive position of halibut farming in Iceland. This will be done through the development of methods to increase productivity and reduce production costs by maximising growth, developing new feeds, and improve feed usage.
Collaborators are: Akvaplan - niva, Hólar University College, Laxá Feed Mill hf., Fiskey ehf., and Ísaga ehf.
Funding: The AVS Fund.

Finding optimal growing condition for juvenile at and in on- growing of Arctic charr
Year: 2007-2010
The objective of the project is to maximise growth and feed utilisation in farmed charr by defining the optimum conditions for intensive farming and maximising aquaculture yields. Another aim is to increase the competitiveness of charr farming in Iceland through the development of methods emphasising heat, salinity, and photoperiods, so as to increase productivity and reduce production costs by maximising growth and improving feed usage. Also examined will be the possible effects of heat and photoperiod treatment on the slaughter quality and value of charr. Collaborators are: Akvaplan – niva, Samherji hf., and Matís ohf.
Funding: The AVS Fund and the Agricultural Productivity Fund.

A survey of the biology of Icelandic lakes: A co-ordinated database
Year: From 1992
A long-term project aiming at investigating the diverse biology of Icelandic lakes and storing the resulting information in a database. Approximately 70 lakes have been studied and added to the database. Hólar University College was involved in the structuring of the project and has participated actively in its execution. The College has developed the freshwater aquarium, worked on the preparation of educational materials related to the findings, and held lectures and other presentations. Collaborators were: University of Iceland, the Natural History Museum of Kópavogur, and the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries.
Funding: Rannís, the Ministry for the Environment, and Landvernd.

Former research projects

Aquaflow
Year: 1996-2003
The project involved sharing the findings from aquaculture research with aquaculturists and others interested in aquaculture. Summaries of research projects were published on the website www.aquaflow.org.
Funding: The European Union.

Aquanet
Year: 2006-2008
Aquanet and its sister project, Fishnet, are exchange programmes. The programme supports travel for students and instructors in Europe.
Funding: The Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

Campaign to foster charr farming
Year: 2003-2005
The study addressed various factors that relate to charr farming and could increase productivity and efficiency in charr aquaculture. The project is carried out in co-operation with FISK Seafood and other parties.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund.

Variations in feeding behaviour among Arctic charr juveniles (Salvelinus alpinus) at the onset of first feeding
Year: 2003-2007
Arctic charr is a freshwater species that demonstrates great variation in phenotype (appearance, behaviour, and life history), which can lead to the development of different morphs. Variable development among charr is likely to occur in waters where competition with other species is limited and intraspecific competition is significant, or where the fish can utilise most of the resources that can be found in the habitat. Studies have shown that juvenile charr use various feeding methods as a response to competition for food. This variation can emerge as a difference in juvenile mobility during feeding, as feeding behaviour is considered to reflect the adaptation of the charr to the resources available in the habitat. Variations in flexibility in feeding behaviour, both within and between populations, are therefore considered to affect the phenotype development and ecological specialisation of the morphs. The primary objective of this study was to compare the mobility of juvenile charr from various morphs during their first feeding. Also studied was the effect, if any, of size on the mobility of the juveniles. Two morphs from Lake Thingvallavatn and one from Lake Vatnshlídarvatn in East Húnavatnssýsla county were used for the study.
Funding: Hólar University College.

Charrnet
Year: 2002-2005
A collaborative project among seven European countries, centering on the establishment of a website (www.charrnet.org) containing information on charr and charr aquaculture. Funding: The European Union.

COST 827
Year: 1996-2001
Hólar University College participated in a project called COST Action 826. The project was a collaborative and opinion exchange forum for European companies and research institutions concerning research into various factors related to feeding and nutritional needs of fish. Hólar University College participated in meetings pertaining to COST Action 826, as well as carrying out other related projects; for instance, a final conference on the project was held with the co- operation of Hólar University College, The Agricultural Research Institute of Iceland (RALA), and the University of Iceland. Funding: The European Union.

Halibut farming
Year: 1997-1999
Hólar University College did collaborate with Fiskey on a project centering on the importance of hormone control for the quality of halibut larvae. Hólar University College’s role was to analyse developmental and morphological characteristics early in the development process, from hatching to metamorphosis.
Funding: The European Union.

Aquafarmer
Year: 1996-1999
A collaborative endeavour of IceTec (project management) and Irish and Dutch parties, this project centered on the preparation of educational materials for aquaculturists involved in charr and eel farming.
Funding: The European Union.

 

 

EUREKA
Year: 1998-2003
Hólar University College, the fish farms Máki and Silfurstjarnan, the software company Origo, and the University of Iceland participated in a multinational project that has received the so-called Eureka award from the European Union. Only one other Icelandic project has received this award.
The project is related to the Mistral Mar project, which is about fish farming in closed systems, and is carried out in co-operation with corporations and research institutions in France. The subject matter is multi-faceted but always relates in some way to the farming of Arctic charr and sea bass.
Funding: The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís).

Fish farming in closed systems – Mistral Mar
Year: 2000-2003
Hólar University College, together with Icelandic and foreign companies and research institutes, was engaged in collaboration with the aquaculture company Máki in Skagafjördur, which has done experimental cultivation of warm-water sea bass in water reuse and recirculation systems. The company aims to increase its production, using the fish farm Miklalax í Fljótum. During the study, the fish were raised in cultivation vats that were many times larger than those previously used in recirculation systems. Extensive research and development work was required so that the vats could be used. Hólar University College’s role in the project was to survey the effect of environmental factors on growth, survival, and behaviour of the sea bass.
Funding: The European Union.

QTL in Arctic Charr
Year: 2003 -
The objective of the project is to search for QTL for various important life history characters of Arctic charr. This is a collaborative project with the University of Guelph, Canada.
Funding: The University of Guelph pays for the salaries of a PhD student.

The importance of trypsin in the embryo and larvae of Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua). 
Year: 2004-2007
Trypsins are known to play a key role in the viability of marine fish larvae due to their importance in digestion. The purpose of this research project, aimed towards a Ph.D. degree, is to create new knowledge on the variability of trypsin expression, activity and type in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) embryos and larvae. Also, to analyze the effects of protein enriched feed on trypsin expression, activity and type in cod larvae. The research was initiated in 2004 with the first data soon to be published. Trypsin expression will be analyzed using the real time qRT-PCR technique and trypsin activity will be monitored using synthetic substrates. Further characterization of the trypsins will be performed by SDS-PAGE-, 2D electrophoresis, Western blot analysis and mass spectrometry. The main value of the research project is to increase knowledge on the importance of trypsins in cod embryos and larvae. Furthermore, to develop methods for using trypsin expression and activity as biomarkers to predict cod larval viability as well as their response to a changing environment such as variation in the protein composition of ingested food.
Funding: Rannís, University of Iceland Graduate study fund

New stocks of Arctic charr for Aquaculture
Year: 1998-2000
This project was a collaborative effort of aquaculturists and research organisations in Scotland, Germany, Austria, and Iceland. Participants from Iceland were Hólar University College and the company Stofnfiskur. The aim of the project was to find charr stocks that were suitable for fish farming in each of the participating countries. In Iceland, the growth of Lake Mývatn charr was compared with the growth of the charr stocks then being bred in Iceland.
Funding: The European Union.

Inexpensive cod feed
Year: 2004-2007
The objective of the project is to seek ways to reduce the cost of feed in cod farming. In order to achieve that objective, a study will be carried out of whether, and in what amounts, it is possible to use fat as a protein-saving energy source in dry feed for cod. The effects of soy protein will also be examined in some of the feed types (feed with 15, 20, and 30% fat content). The feed must have the proper nutritional content for farmed cod so as to ensure rapid fish growth, acceptable feed utilisation, healthy fish, and minimal damage to the environment. The physical properties of the feed (textural properties such as hardness, water binding, and stability) must also be comparable to those of conventional feed. The goal is to develop cod feed that elicits substantial growth without causing fat accumulation in the liver. Also investigated was trypsin activity and its correlation with growth. The objective of these experiments is to determine whether it is possible to measure growth by measuring trypsin activity.
Collaborators are: Laxá Feed Mill hf., Matís ohf., Hólar University College, the Marine Research Institute, and the Agricultural University of Iceland.
Funding: The AVS Fund.

Vegetable-based raw materials in Arctic charr feed as a substitute for fishmeal and fish oil
Year: 2005-2007
The objective of the project is to produce inexpensive feed for Arctic charr so as to reduce production costs and increase the profitability of charr farming. The project aims to substitute less expensive vegetable products (vegetable meal and oil) for fishery products (fishmeal and fish oil) in aquaculture feeds. An attempt is made to determine appropriate ratios for types of raw materials in charr feed and to study the effects that these ratios have on the fish.
Collaborators are: Hólar University College, Laxá Feed Mill hf., Matís ohf., the University of Akureyri, and Hólalax hf.
Funding: The AVS Fund.

Study of the heritability of Arctic charr
Year: 1990-1993
This project involved the evaluation of the heritability for weight and frequency of sexual maturation in Arctic charr of various ages, distinguished by sex. The project was also structured as a precursor to further charr breeding. The findings indicated that there was a very high level of heredity for these characteristics and that it would therefore be very beneficial to breed cultured Arctic charr. The collaborator was Hólalax fish farm. The findings have been published at advisory meetings and in lectures at Icelandic and foreign conferences.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund.

Comparison of Arctic charr populations
Year: 1989-1992
In this project, 15 charr species were compared with the aim of finding species that are suitable for aquaculture and breeding. The collaborators in the study were the Agricultural Research Institute, Hólalax, the Farmers’ Association of Iceland, and the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries. The characteristics that were examined most closely were egg size, mortality, weight (growth), age at sexual maturation, and skin colour. Diversity proved substantial in the most important farming characteristics, and the stocks that yielded the best results are now used as the backbone for the material raised in fish farms all over the country. These same stocks were also selected for further breeding. The findings have been presented at advisory meetings, in RALA publications, and in conference lectures.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund and Rannís.

The relationship between oxygen uptake and tail beat frequency in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
Year: 2001-2002
This study was part of a larger European project called Mistral Mar, and the objective was to survey the farming of warm-water species, including sea bass in Northern regions, using recirculation systems. Sea bass is a warm-water species that can be found from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. It is raised primarily in Greece and Turkey, as well as in France.
This twofold project involved, on the one hand, measuring the fish’s oxygen uptake at various swimming speeds, thus obtaining indications of energy consumption, and, on the other, measuring tail beat frequency at each of these swimming speeds.
Funding: The European Union.

Comparison of diploid and triploid Arctic charr in aquaculture
Year: 1991-1994
In this project, charr eggs were subjected to heat shock in order to make them triploid and the subsequently hatched fish infertile, so as to prevent the negative effects of sexual maturation on flesh quality. The effects of this treatment on survival, growth, and sexual maturation were examined. The findings indicated that this method could be useful for stocks where early maturation is significant, or if the market should demand such large fish that it proves necessary to raise them for four years. The findings have been presented in conference lectures and posters.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund.

Supporting research for charr breeding
Year: 1996-1999
In this project, the heredity of weight, maturation frequency, flesh colour and fat percentage in Arctic charr were assessed. A study of skin colour heredity was also carried out. In light of the findings and from a literature review, the breeding strategy was re-examined. Collaborators were: The Agricultural Research Institute, the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries, Stofnfiskur hf., and the Farmers’ Association of Iceland. The findings have been published in the professional aquaculture journal Eldisfréttir. Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund and Rannís.

The land based aquaculture project
Year: 1997-1998
Hólar University College participated in the land based Aquaculture Project, a large research project focusing on searching for ways to reduce water use in aquaculture. Participants were fish farms and research institutions. Hólar University College’s role in the project was to work with the aquaculture company Silfurstjarnan ehf. and the University of Iceland, Institute of Physiology to investigate the water requirements for Arctic charr aquaculture. It was shown that it is possible to reduce substantially the amount of water used in charr farming, and further experiments are planned. The findings have been presented at Icelandic and foreign conferences and in newspaper articles.
Funding: The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís).

TERUPIN
Year: 1998-2001
Hólar University College participated in a project called TERUPIN, a collaborative effort of five European countries that centers on the development of innovation assistance and a support environment in rural areas. The project aimed at building up an effective innovation environment through consultancy and development work for individuals and companies in their own communities, promoting the establishment of new companies, and fostering innovation in existing companies. Hólar University College participated in collaboration meetings and established contact between experts and companies in the participating countries, with the aim of sharing knowledge and establishing business connections.
Funding: The European Union.

Protection strategy for Arctic charr
Year: 2003-2004
A pan-Nordic project whose objective is to formulate a protection strategy for Arctic charr.
Funding: The Nordic Fund.

Development of methods to control growth and sexual maturation in Arctic charr
Year: 1992-1996
An extensive project involving the study of various factors affecting growth and sexual maturation of Arctic charr, with the aim of increasing and equalising growth and preventing premature maturation. Collaborators were: The University of Iceland, the Agricultural Research Institute, the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries, Hólalax hf., and Laekur hf. Many student research projects were related to this project, and the findings have been published widely.
Funding: The Agricultural Productivity Fund and the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís).

The development of sustainable Arctic charr farming – Aquacharr
Year: 1996-2000
This extensive project addressed various factors related to farming and breeding of Arctic charr. The collaborators were universities from Scotland, Sweden, and Ireland, as well as the University of Iceland and the aquaculture company Hólalax. RALA and Stofnfiskur hf. also participated in certain phases of the project. The study involved the development of genetic methods for distinguishing among wild charr populations. These methods were used, among other things, to compare charr populations in Iceland, and the findings have shed new light on the evolution and species formation of fish. Information has also been compiled on the growth of charr under various environmental conditions and on genetic control of growth in charr. The findings provide an important foundation for the formulation of a breeding strategy for charr. They have been presented at Icelandic and foreign conferences and in journal articles.
Funding: The European Union.

Haddock farming
Year: 1997-1999
Hólar University College did collaborate with Fiskey on a project centering on the importance of hormone control for the quality of halibut larvae. Hólar University College’s role was to analyse developmental and morphological characteristics early in the development process, from hatching to metamorphosis.
Funding: The European Union.

FishACE
Year: 2005-2008
This project, is a European collaborative project, on the effects of fishing on the gene pools of fish stocks. A large number of PhD students and Post-Doc work in the project. At Hólar University College one PhD student focuses on Arctic charr.
Funding: The Leonardo programme of the European Union.

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