Thank you once more for the commitment of all partners to the project, along with the willingness to share concepts, ideas, results, in order to ensure the achievement of our ambitious main GAIN objective of Aquaculture Eco-Intensification.
European shellfish aquaculture can help reduce negative water quality impacts of excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in coastal communities, according to a recent study funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The study, conducted by a multi-national team during the GAIN project (Green Aquaculture Intensification in Europe http://www.unive.it/gainh2020_eu) examined the potential for including aquaculture of mussels, oysters, and clams in watershed-scale nutrient management policies.
Nutrient discharges to coastal waterbodies can stimulate excessive growth of algae leading to water quality degradation with consequences such as low oxygen, dead fish, and/or harmful algal blooms. These nutrient-related impacts have been reported for many EU estuaries.
Nutrient pollution, or eutrophication, is typically controlled by preventing nutrient discharges to coastal waters through management measures including wastewater treatment and careful use of agriculture fertilizer. Wastewater treatment has been very successful in reducing direct loads, but reductions that require major changes in agriculture, livestock, and community management are economically costly and may have severe social consequences.
Growing bivalve shellfish provides direct economic benefits to a community by supporting jobs and making local seafood available to consumers. It also provides ecosystem services—benefits that nature provides to people—including reductions of algae, which are eaten by the clams, oysters and mussels. The shellfish absorb nutrients into their tissue and shell and remove algae and nutrients from the waterbody, contributing to the environmental sustainability of estuaries, bays, and coastal zones.
The removal of algae by filter-feeding bivalve shellfish is an important and economically valuable ecosystem service—in the USA, compensation to shellfish farmers for the water clearance service they provide is at an advanced stage of debate; in the Chesapeake Bay, growers have been paid for services provided by oyster aquaculture.
Results of this study will provide the basis for strategic guidelines to develop a nutrient credit trading programme in Europe. Our study shows that EU annual production of over half a million metric tons of bivalves removes between 5 and 13 thousand tons of nitrogen per year. The annual cost of removing the same amount of nutrients using other measures would be between 18 and 48 billion €.
“Our hope is that our approach will be useful throughout the EU, and that our positive results will help inform discussions about the value of shellfish aquaculture to water quality, in addition to seafood provision,” said Prof. Roberto Pastres, coordinator of the GAIN project.
Prof. Pastres added “We recommend the inclusion of bivalves within comprehensive nutrient management plans. Shellfish farming, with its reduced ecological footprint, net removal of organic material, and low food-web nutritional requirements, is perhaps the best example of nature-based intensification for blue growth.”
The GAIN journey reached its end. After three and half years of intense and fruitful research, innovation and cooperation at European and worldwide level, we are eager to share our outputs and findings with the economic sector, the scientific community and the policy actors at national and international level.
This project final meeting will be the occasion to present to a wider public the lessons learned and the results achieved by the GAIN consortium, with particular attention to follow-up, replication and exploitation opportunities.
The event will be held online, via Zoom platform. Participation is free and open to everyone; for organizational purposes a registration is required.
We hope you will join us in this important date for the GAIN project, and we would appreciate if you could share this news with your contacts, your academic network and any potential stakeholders!
Waister has developed an innovative method for mortalities drying in aquaculture. This method is a substitute for ensilage, which is the most common way of treating mortalities today.
By using a Waister 15 drying machine, mortalities disposal may be reduced by 85 % compared to ensilage. This is achieved without adding formic acid. In this way, the method represents a substantial improvement for employees’ safety by elimination of hazards related to application of formic acid.
Waister has used the method on fish from the smallest fish of a few grams up to 4.5 kg. It works well on all kinds of fish – and has even been applied to salmon and trout with high fat content. For these fish species an additive, being wood chips or dried spent grain, is used to ensure a stable processing.
The development and verification of the method has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 773330.
The official market launch of Waister 15 for mortalities happened at Aqua-Nor in Trondheim August 2021.
Check out all more about this innovative method to re-use fish mortalities in this video:
How can we really achieve fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems? What does it means sustainability from farm (and sea) to fork? Are we ready for a change in our production and consumption habits?
We will discuss with Christine Mauracher from the Agrifood Management & Innovation Lab of Ca’ Foscari University, with chef Stefano Polato, who cooks for astronauts at the Argotec Space food Lab, with Joao Ferreira from Longline Environment, expert of sustainability for the aquaculture and fisheries sectors, with Marie Shrestha from ttz Bremerhaven, who will bring cities and policy actors point of view, and with Roberto Pastres and Raffaella Lioce, bringing the experience of two large European projects, GAIN on sustainable aquaculture, and Cities2030 on urban food systems.
The participation at the event is free and open to everyone. For organizational purpose we ask to register by October 14th through this link www.epcsrl.eu/good-fish-good-food/.
The GAIN Summer School “Ecological Transition of Aquaculture” was successfully held online from August 30th to September 3rd, 2021!
With more than 40 participants and experts from all over the world, we have spent an amazing week discussing Precision Aquaculture, Circular Economy, Sustainability Assessment, Policies and Markets.
Speakers presented a state of-the-art knowledge of the main challenges facing the aquaculture sectors as well as the the solutions developed by the GAIN consortium to successfully engage the ecological intensification of fish and shellfish farming.
They had, in particular, an overview of innovative methods and relative tools (Life Cycle Analysis, Precision Fish Farming) which are going to play a major role in the ecological transition of this sector.
The school aimed at giving all the students an adequate knowledge to help them building the sustainable future aquaculture needs.
The GAIN Summer School team would like to thank to all the participants!
At this workshop, we aim to discuss the latest developments of knowledge on novel fish feeds that support eco-intensification of the European aquaculture industry, providing training to professionals on the topic, including aspects of value creation and the sustainable use of by-products and side streams from the aquaculture, fisheries and agro-industries.
The GAIN journey is nearly over and we would like to share results and lessons learnt with motivated young researchers and operators, eager to contribute to the ecological transition of the aquaculture sector.
The GAIN Summer School “Ecological Transition in Aquaculture” will provide key concepts and tools concerning: precision aquaculture, circular economy, sustainability assessment, policies and markets. Students will get an up-to-date knowledge of key ideas in these areas and then will be led through the GAIN innovations, thus discovering how the main challenges in aquaculture field can be dealt with by adopting the GAIN approach to the ecological intensification of this sector.
Talks delivered by GAIN experts will be complemented by contributions from other EU projects, focused on aquaculture ecological transition, and worldwide recognized authorities. Students will be engaged in demonstration sessions, using virtual tools, e.g., mentimeter, and encouraged to interact within focus group.
The Summer School will be held Onlinefrom August 30th to September 3rd, 2021.
Five morning sessions, from 9:30 to 13:30 CEST, will be complemented by two afternoon sessions, from 14:30 to 16:30 CEST, for a total of 24 hours of training. The participation is completely free of charge.
Official language of the school is English. The School will admit up to 40 students. The admission is based on a CV and a motivation letter. Deadline for application is August 6th.
The purpose of this Workshop is to present and discuss new developments of knowledge on novel fish feeds that support eco-intensification of the aquaculture industry, providing training to professionals on this topic, including aspects of value creation and sustainable use of by-products and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and agro-industries.
If you are a professional in the aquafeed value chain (e.g., Junior and Senior staff involved in R&D, formulation and technical support), or part of the research institutions (e.g., Lecturers, Researchers, PhD students, post-docs) across the enlarged European Union and other countries, this is for you.
Check out the program:
Day 1 (21 September 2021, Online, 9.30 – 12.30 CEST)
Part 1: Introduction – what are sustainable aquafeeds?
Part 2: Novel ingredients – Strengths and Weaknesses Yeast and bacterial proteins, PAPs from agroindustry by-products, By-products from aquaculture, Micro and macro-algae, Mineral and Vitamin sources, Challenges for a sustainable supply
Day 2 (22 September 2021, Online, 9.30 – 12.30 CEST)
Part 3: Alternative fish feed formulations – Results for the industry Results from GAIN, PerformFISH, AquaIMPACT, MEDAID and SUSHIN
Part 4: Novel tools to assess feed performance – Where are we and how to progress Molecular Biomarkers, Microbiome analysis, Simulation models