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Aquaculture farm. (Photo: Idreem)

European project to boost multi-trophic aquaculture environment

EUROPEAN UNION
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 02:30 (GMT + 9)

Eight organisations from Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom have partnered up to implement project INTEGRATE, intended to improve the environmental performance of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA).

The organisations joining efforts to carry out the project, are CTAQUA (Spain), Agrocampus Ouest (France), the Scottish Association for Marine Science (United Kingdom), the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (Portugal), National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland), Irish Seaweed Consultancy (Ireland), ALGAplus (Portugal) and the Centre for Study and Promotion of Algae (France).

The three-year project initiative focuses on making best use of the nutrient flow in aquaculture facilities by farming together species belonging to different trophic levels. The IMTA approach maximises resource efficiency while providing natural bioremediation at aquaculture farming sites.

Among its expected results are the creation of an Atlantic IMTA platform for sectorial collaboration and three pilot actions to develop Atlantic IMTA technology and farming techniques.

To offer value to the work, INTEGRATE team shall capitalise its technical outcomes through best practice guidelines and the pilot actions will be open to academia and the aquaculture industry. The project will also launch Atlantic IMTA expert groups and dissemination events are envisaged to facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer.

However, despite being encouraged by European Union (EU) policies such as the Blue Growth Strategy, the Atlantic Action Plan and RIS3, there still are socio-economic, administrative and legal bottlenecks hampering the development of IMTA to its full potential.

To overcome these, INTEGRATE supports cooperation between academia, the corporate sector and relevant authorities, thus strengthening collaborative networks in the field of Atlantic IMTA.

INTEGRATE is funded by the ERDF through the INTERREG Atlantic Area 2014-2020 Programme.

“This project will provide us with the knowledge we need to start working alongside policy makers towards the creation of a regulatory framework that will support industrial IMTA in the European Atlantic Area”, explained María del Mar Agraso, who is Technical Director at the CTAQUA, INTEGRATE’s lead partner organisation.

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