A new EU funded project, AquaVitae, will work to increase aquaculture production of low-trophic species, in and around the Atlantic Ocean, in sustainable ways. The project aims to introduce new low trophic species, products and processes in marine aquaculture value chains across the Atlantic. The five chosen value chains include macroalgae, Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), echinoderm species (e.g. sea urchins), shellfish and finfish. The project accepts the recommendations made in the Food from the Oceans report (2017), which highlights the need to expand low- and multi-trophic marine aquaculture as an ecologically efficient source of increasing food and feed.
To complete the objectives, 11 case studies will be conducted across the Atlantic, with emphasis on developing new products from low-trophic species (e.g. macroalgae and sea urchins), optimizing production in existing industries (e.g. shellfish and finfish) and moving towards zero waste and a circular economy in aquaculture (e.g. IMTA and Biofloc).
Some of the cross-cutting activities involve research into biosensors, Internet of Things (IoT), product characteristics, market potential, sustainability, environmental monitoring, as well as conducting risk assessments, analyses of value chains, studying profitability and the legal framework.
The project consortium consists of 36 partners from 16 different countries, spread across four continents. In addition to Europe, partners are situated in countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, including Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, as well as in North America. With a total budget of €8 million, this is the second largest EU project ever coordinated by Nofima.