The team explained that a major problem in breeding fish for improved carcass composition is the lack of simple and reliable methods to predict genetic traits. Usually fish have to be killed and then dissected, which, apart from the obvious downside, is also a laborious and time-consuming process and prevents selection of such fish as breeders.
The CT scanner allows the operators to select from hundreds of virtual "slices" through the animal's body, enabling them to look at internal organs, muscle groups, fat deposits and the skeleton. The technology even allows 3D images of the whole animal to appear on the screen so it can be looked at from every angle.
In this bid to understand more about the physiology of tilapias, the second most farmed fish in the world after carp, the researchers brought the fish to the facility to be scanned for fat, muscle and bone percentages. The results of the CT scanning will tell the research team whether there is the potential to use genetic selection to improve product quality and yield.
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