Long ago, in the year 1981 in the city of Nin, not far from Zadar, one of the first fish hatcheries in the Mediterranean was opened. The complete reconstruction of the facilities started in 2013 and, in September 2015, on the place of the old hatchery, one of the most modern facilities for sea bass and sea bream spawning in Europe was opened for business. This new hatchery increases the annual production capacity from 15 million to 30 million fry, and the production technology in the new highly automated facility allows a shorter development cycle with an increase of fry quality. The hatchery is organised in such a manner, that all units and reproductive centres are separated, with their individual filtration systems, which enables creating the optimal conditions for planned size and fish species.
The process of spawning and harvesting in the hatchery encompasses the conditioning of the broodstock, the cultivation of larvae and fries along with plankton and crablings. It all begins in the hatchery where the technology painstakingly selects a broodstock which provides the satisfactory quantity of fish-spawn. The spawn acquired by spawning is then implanted in the incubators from where larvae spawn. The farming of zooplankton and phytoplankton, the first food of the larvae, is the most sensitive part of the technological process during the larval stage. When the fry reaches the weight of 5 to 7 grams, for which approximately 5 to 6 months are needed, it is ready to be transported to marine cages in which the development cycle continues.
With the focus on regular fry production, an experimental station was built in the new hatchery, which will accommodate the research of new species for farming. The investing cycle will be completed with the modernisation of the facility for fish pre-growth in Mala Lamjana in which the fry will receive supplemental feeding from the hatchery in Nin.