Shrimp are high-market value product with an increasing demand for global supply, currently representing 15 % of total globally traded fishery commodities and the second most traded commodity (both in value terms), following salmon. However, the shrimp farming industry is currently facing both production and environmental sustainability challenges. To tackle these challenges, project MYSIS aims at conducting a feasibility study to globally commercialize a disruptive weaning diet for shrimp larvae farmed in aquaculture. The technical feasibility of the MYSIS weaning diet was already validated at laboratory-scale, largely outperforming existing competitors by increasing larval growth performance, survival and disease resistance on the long-term. This novel weaning diet will therefore boost worldwide shrimp hatcheries and nurseries on the farming of high quality juveniles, representing enormous economic savings for these users due to its unforeseen biological effects and high cost-effectiveness, since its estimated price-range is not more than average of main competitors. The MYSIS diet refers to a multidisciplinary approach resulting from nutritional knowledge (super-premium quality ingredients that fulfil shrimp larvae nutritional requirements; food and feed sectors) and cutting–edge technologies (cold-extrusion and encapsulation; aquaculture and pharmaceutical sectors). To pursue in the innovation pathway to an industrial-scale demonstration and market deployment, this feasibility study contemplates an evaluation of intellectual property right protection and regulatory issues as well as the implementation of a robust market assessment and business plan. With project MYSIS, SPAROS expects to gain position as a key provider of forefront products and technology services in the global aquaculture market.
Aquaculture is the world fastest growing food production sector, providing over 50% of sea food, while capture fisheries remains static. However, there is increasing concern about its sustainable and profitable development. This challenge requires effective cooperation and communication between the academic and the private sector. The EASYTRAIN project tackles this challenge by developing innovative aquaculture systems based on the most modern techniques in the field of aquaponics using organic aquaculture feed formulas, which substitutes fishmeal by Spirulina and quinoa as filler. EASYTRAIN combines the expertise of two academic and four industrial partners from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Italy, with complementary expertise in the field of plant and fish farming, feed production, aquaculture engineering and micro algae biotechnology. The outcome of EASYTRAIN will be 6 researchers with experimental and transferable skills ready to cope with the future challenges of the prospect aquaculture sector.
An important gap in continued sustainability of fish farming is the lack of a proper understanding on digestive function and aquafeeds utilization. The WiseFeed project will focus on this gap using an integrative approach and considering selected key fish species in culture, the feed composition and feeding protocols. The approach in WiseFeed is based on a collaborative effort for advancing both the fundamental physiological knowledge and practical applicability. WiseFeed will build an integrated network of research groups from the academia and partners in SME and large enterprises where the overall aim is to improve performance and sustainability of aquafeeds for fish production. WiseFeed has the following specific objectives: - Develop model that quantifies digestion, absorption and retention efficiency of selected macro nutrients in key cultured fish species - Develop software package to optimize feeding strategies - Elucidate the role and effects of specific amino acids and dietary supplements for enhancing metabolism, growth and N-retention including effects of elevated temperatures due to climate changes. The research that forms the basis for WifeFeed is funded by on-going national R&D projects that constitute the scientific and technical pillars of the current proposal. The secondments will bring external expertise to each of these R&D projects and coordinate efforts among similar and related activities. The secondments also build the competence of each of the participating researchers The practical benefits of WiseFeed will be improved production yield, reduced feeding cost and reduced N-waste from fish farms. The expected added value will be a faster advance in common objectives by facilitating progress and fulfilment of the R&D objectives for each participant. Furthermore, it is also the aim of WiseFish to establish a consolidated network beyond the framework of this proposal to give response to new challenges of the aquafeed industry.
Animal health and welfare are issues of high research priority for European aquaculture. In particular, improving animal welfare whilst reducing the use of veterinary drugs are current research priorities in line with minimizing the environmental impact of the industry. Preventing, or reducing the impact of disease is of prime importance for producers, researchers and stakeholders. In addition, public awareness of aquatic animal health and welfare leads to the increased attention of policy-makers, scientific community and the consumers into new methods for disease prevention. The IGNITION project aims to unveil new knowledge regarding animal welfare in the context of climate change and propose new tools to mitigate the adverse effects of stress. An improvement in animal welfare will translate in higher-quality farmed animals thus improving farming productivity and sustainability performance. Through IGNITION it is expected to provide new knowledge through genotyping and molecular phenotyping techniques to develop future breeding strategies for fish and shellfish. New innovative tools regarding immunization in fish will also be provided, aiming at improving fish welfare and targeting early life stages. Animal feeds will be formulated to include bioactive compounds extracted from halophytes through a novel upstream cascade salt removal. Special emphasis will be given to the study and discovery of new non-invasive biomarkers of health and welfare, which will in turn allow the development of biosensors and disease prediction through machine learning approaches. The tools developed in IGNITION will be able to avoid the colonization and spread of pathogenic microorganisms, including multi-resistant microorganisms, among farmed animals and the subsequent spread to humans through the food chain.
Today there are only market opportunities for high value applications due to production costs, which are still too high to make microalgae a competitive feedstock for commodities. There is presently a large production capacity for a limited number of microalgae strains in Europe. However, the number of concrete products and market applications is still limited. The enlargement of current market applications for high-value microalgae ingredients will lead to new business opportunities, industrialize the technology and provide the knowledge and experience required to enter the medium- low value market within 5-10 years. MAGNIFICENT will expand the range of commercial products and their market volume substantially and in a sustainable manner. The overall objective of the project is to develop and validate a sustainable and economically feasible new value chain based on cultivation and processing, with the aim to transform microalgae biomass into valuable ingredients for food, aquafeed and cosmetics applications. Development and validation of new product formulations of microalgae are included in the project To achieve this, optimization will be done: 1) Upstream, cultivation related processes via adaptation and selection of algae varieties, improvement of growing conditions and target product concentration in the cell and 2) downstream process steps (separation, extraction, purification) in order to achieve the overall aim to maximise the production of compounds of interest (phospholipids rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and fucoxanthin as main molecules). The work will be supported by chain evaluation, market assessment, socio-economic impact assessment and LCA. Specific attention will be paid to the requirements of the existing EU regulatory framework. The MAGNIFICENT consortium has 16 partners from 7 EU countries incl. 10 SME's, 3 LE's, 1 University and 2 RTO's, and comprises commercial partners in the entire value chain and the 3 target markets.