Shaping the future of Europe's aquaculture

Aug 05, 2013
Shaping the future of Europe's aquaculture
Credit: Shutterstock

Over the past few years, the depletion of fish stocks has been a growing concern for policy-makers, fishers and environmental organizations alike. Debates on EU measures to protect bluefin tuna or cod fishing quotas, for example, make the headlines on a regular basis.

Aquaculture - the farming of aquatic organisms under controlled conditions - is seen as part of the solution to these overfishing-related issues. Currently accounting for 20% of Europe's fish production, this industry is renowned for its high quality, sustainability and consumer protection standards. However, some major obstacles stand in the way of its further development, one of which being its impact on the environment: How can we ensure that techniques allow for the preservation of local ecosystems while not slowing down the sector's growth?

This is the main question the EU-funded SEAFARE (Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture for the Atlantic Region of Europe) project is looking to answer. On the occasion of a two-day meeting that took place on 16-17 July 2013 at the IPMA aquaculture research station in Olhao, Portugal, the project team discussed its progress towards providing tools and technology for a more sustainable aquaculture.

Ending in December 2013, the project has already demonstrated its potential to impact policy, industry and society. 'We have achieved very interesting results during the project's lifetime, such as the work related to wetlands aquaculture carried out in Veta la Palma in Spain or the earthen ponds here in South Portugal, and we will ensure the new knowledge generated goes to the right stakeholders to facilitate its uptake,' said Mr Daniel Lee, SEAFARE project coordinator.

Consisting of multiple sub-projects, the SEAFARE project aims to promote the diversification of the by providing a greater range of species and alternative, environmentally-friendly production systems. All the initiatives developed by the project are assessed for their commercial applicability through close collaboration with stakeholders and SMEs. The project notably consisted in genetic studies characterizing the extent of naturalization of Pacific oysters, or research over milcroalgae species with attractive nutritional profiles.

'We anticipate that SEAFARE will live on as a thriving project and network that continues to link like-minded researchers with ambitious SME partners in the Atlantic Area. Spin-offs are anticipated in the form of commercial and research projects. The project has already created 11 jobs and the long-term impact of SEAFARE will also be bound up in the body of expertise that it is has created,' Daniel Lee said.

SEAFARE is planning to organise a workshop in October 2013 in Seville, Spain, in order to facilitate the transfer of knowledge generated from the project to interested parties. The main benefits of environmentally friendly wetland aquaculture systems will be presented to a wide range of stakeholders, including environmental managers, policy makers, the aquaculture industry, and NGOs at local, regional and international level.

Explore further: Researchers developing techniques for tuna aquaculture

More information: www.seafareproject.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers developing techniques for tuna aquaculture

Jun 13, 2013

Swimming around and around in a 20,000 gallon tank at the University of Rhode Island's Bay Campus are several large yellowfin tuna captured last fall about 100 miles off the Rhode Island coast. The fish are part of the first ...

Aquaculture: Helping blue turn green

Jan 21, 2013

Producing sea shells and algae alongside fish could provide both an environmentally friendly and economically viable solution to make Mediterranean aquaculture sustainable.

Models for a more effective response to climate change

Aug 05, 2013

There is now widespread acceptance that the climate is changing due to human-related greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will affect all sectors of society and the environment at the local, national ...

System developed for optimising juvenile fish production

Sep 17, 2012

A European project, ALFA, has developed a state-of-the-art automatic system to control the most important variable parameters in live feed production for fish hatcheries. The systems were geared to suit conditions ...

'Perfect' food for 'perfect' prawns

Jul 31, 2013

Australian researchers have developed a food additive for farmed prawns that will mean prawn lovers will have access to more sustainable prawns that still taste great.

Recommended for you

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

13 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...