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IMTA Green aquaculture as part of the Blue Revolution


Richard Corner, Longline Environment Ltd Marieke Steuben, SAMS Adam Hughes, SAMS


Green aquaculture as part of the Blue Revolution


GREEN AQUACULTURE as part of the Blue Revolution THE MERITS OF INTEGRATED MULTI-TROPHIC AQUACULTURE


Green aquaculture as part of the Blue Revolution


Richard Corner, Longline Environment Ltd Marieke Steuben, SAMS Adam Hughes, SAMS


RICHARD CORNER, MARIEKE STEUBEN, ADAM HUGHES


in the last 10-15 years, aquaculture production has stagnated. In a global aqua- culture marketplace, with production increasing at an average of 7% per year, the European aquaculture sector has fallen behind. European aquaculture needs to embrace new technologies and innova- tions if it is to develop and increase seafood security for European consumers. In this context, why


W


would a salmon farmer want to start growing mussels? Why is a Scot- tish shellfish producer stocking lines of seaweed among its oysters? What brings Mediterranean sea bream growers, Norwegian salmon farmers and Irish algae experts together? The answer is Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA). The concept of IMTA is


not new, but although it has been studied as a con- cept, it has not yet been adopted commercially in Europe. Growing fed spe- cies alongside extractive species has the potential to increase efficiency, open up new markets, derive new aquaculture products, increase production and income and improve sea- food security for nations. These are the backbone of a recent publication


hilst European aquaculture has matured


by the European Com- mission, which has at its heart a desire to increase aquaculture production throughout Europe. These are also the con-


cerns driving an interna- tional research project to commercially pilot IMTA production in European mariculture.


BESPOKE SYSTEMS Fish, shellfish farmers and


research institutions in Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Italy, Cyprus and Israel have paired up under the European-funded IDREEM project (www.idreem.eu) to demonstrate the ben- efits of growing multiple species to the aquaculture industry and consumers. The IDREEM project


aims to demonstrate how European IMTA produc- tion can reduce waste, increase productivity, and increase profit for the farms, in comparison with conventional monoculture, by recycling waste streams that are otherwise lost to the environment. There are a host of rea-


sons that make commercial adoption of IMTA difficult. Lack of detailed IMTA knowledge, complexities in national legislation, a failure so far to define whether it can be economically viable given the restrictions that apply and perceived lack of space are just a few. The IDREEM project is


addressing some of the obstacles to adoption of IMTA by carrying out origi- nal market research and policy analysis in addition


www.fishfarmer-magazine.com


Richard Corner, Longline Environment Ltd Marieke Steuben, SAMS Adam Hughes, SAMS


Whilst European aquaculture has matured in the last 10–15 stagnated. In a global aquaculture marketplace, with produc the European aquaculture sector has fallen behind. Europea technologies and innovations if it is to develop and increase


Whilst European aquaculture has matured in the last 10–15 years, aquaculture production has stagnated. In a global aquaculture marketplace, with production increasing at an average of 7% per year, the European aquaculture sector has fallen behind. European aquaculture needs to embrace new technologies and innovations if it is to develop and increase seafood security for European consumers.


In this context, why would a salmon farmer want to start growing mussels? Why is a Scottish shellfish producer stocking lines of seaweed among its oysters? What brings Mediterranean sea bream growers, Norwegian salmon farmers and Irish algae experts together? The answer is Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA).


Whilst European aquacultIure has matured in the last 10–15 years, aquaculture produc stagnated. In a global aquaculture marketplace, with production increasing at an avera the European aquacultureN sector has fallen behind. European aquaculture needs to em technologies and innovations if it is to develop and increase seafood security for Europ


n this context, why would a salmon farmer want to start gro produc r stocking lines of seaweed among its oysters? What orwegian s mon farmers and Irish lgae experts together? Aquaculture (IMTA).


In this context, why would T a salmon farmer want to start growing mussels? Why is a S producer stocking lines ofa seaweed among its oysters? What brings Mediterranean sea Norwegian salmon farmeris and Irish algae experts together? The answer is Integrated Aquaculture (IMTA).


he concept of IMTA is n t new, but although it has been stu dopt d co mercially in Europe. Growing fed species alongs ncrease efficiency, open up new mark ts, derive new aquac income and improve seafood security for nations. These are


The concept of IMTA is not new, but although it has been studied as a concept, it has not yet been adopted commercially in Europe. Growing fed species alongside extractive species has the potential to increase efficiency, open up new markets, derive new aquaculture products, increase production and income and improve seafood security for nations. These are the backbone of a recent publication by the


The concept of IMTA is not new, but although it has been studied as a concept, it has n adopted commercially in Europe. Growing fed species alongside extractive species has increase efficiency, open up new markets, derive new aquaculture products, increase income and improve seafood security for nations. These are the backbone of a recent


Mussels being grown next to fish cages at Seawave Fisheries in Cyprus


Mussels being grown next to fish cages at Seawave Fisheries in Cyprus. Photo credit: MER Research Ltd. 2013


to piloting IMTA produc- tion systems over a 2-3 year period. Now in the second year


of the project, farmers and their research partners in IDREEM are designing and implementing bespoke IMTA production systems to best take advantage of the local conditions. What researchers are finding is that the conventional fish- shellfish-algae arrangement, a cornerstone of IMTA, does not make sense in all marine environments. Various species combi-


nations are being tested to discover just how profitable IMTA can be in different locations, using a range of techniques including more conven- tional economics and more recent Life Cycle Analysis. Carrying Capacity is be- ing considered in detail through modelling. Seaweed and bivalves are already being grown along-


side salmon farms in the participating sites in Ireland and Scotland. In the east- ern Mediterranean, farmers growing mainly sea bass and sea bream, have opted to try detritivorous fish alongside their fed fish spe- cies. Alongside these, other more unusual species (sea urchin, sea cucumbers) are also being tested. Pointing to both envi-


ronmental and economic benefits, Demetris Kletou,


Director of MER Research Ltd in Cyprus, believes that the IMTA pilot project ‘offers environ- mental solutions and increases productivity, marking a new, greener era for the way we pro- duce our seafood.’


For more information about IMTA or the IDREEM project, visit the website www.idreem. eu or get in touch: info@ idreem.eu. FF


Checking growth of Queen scallops at the IMTA site in Loch Fyne, Scotland. Photo credit: Loch Fyne Oysters, Ltd. 2013


Checking growth of Queen scallops at the IMTA site in Loch Fyne, Scotland


53


Photo: Loch Fyne Oysters, Ltd. 2013


Photo: MER Research Ltd. 2013


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