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Mediterranean Aquaculture in a Changing Climate: Temperature Effects on Pathogens and Diseases of Three Farmed Fish Species

Published: 2021


  • Maria Chiara Cascarano

  • Orestis Stavrakidis-Zachou

  • Ivona Mladineo

  • Kim D. Thompson

  • Nikos Papandroulakis

  • Pantelis Katharios


Climate change is expected to have a drastic effect on aquaculture worldwide. As we move forward with the agenda to increase and diversify aquaculture production, rising temperatures will have a progressively relevant impact on fish farming, linked to a multitude of issues associated with fish welfare. Temperature affects the physiology of both fish and pathogens, and has the potential to lead to significant increases in disease outbreaks within aquaculture systems, resulting in severe financial impacts. Significant shifts in future temperature regimes are projected for the Mediterranean Sea. We therefore aim to review and discuss the existing knowledge relating to disease outbreaks in the context of climate change in Mediterranean finfish aquaculture. The objective is to describe the effects of temperature on the physiology of both fish and pathogens, and moreover to list and discuss the principal diseases of the three main fish species farmed in the Mediterranean, namely gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), and meagre (Argyrosomus regius). We will attempt to link the pathology of each disease to a specific temperature range, while discussing potential future disease threats associated with the available climate change trends for the Mediterranean Sea.

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