CRISPR-Cas9 is a specific gene editing methodology that allows genetic material to be altered at particular locations of the genome. This technology is fast, cheap, accurate and efficient, and provides a potential supplement to traditional breeding methods. Genome editing gained interest by the aquaculture community as it can contribute to increasing the sustainability of the sector through the production of more robust and/or sterile fish. So what exactly are the opportunities gene editing creates for aquaculture, are there any ethical concerns, and is the legislation on the verge of being more liberal when it comes to using this technique in the cultivation of food from the oceans?
EATiP Forum / Breeders Talk Blue event, was jointly organized EATiP and EFFAB-FABRE TP, on the potential and opportunities of Gene Editing in Aquaculture.
Various presentations from the European Commission, different scientists from renowned Institutes and private sector experts exchanged and discussed around the following topics:
- The use of gene editing technique (like CRISPRR-Cas9) to improve the breeders toolbox linked to specific applications, such as sterility, disease resistance..
- The link to exploring opportunities to adapt legislation
- Search for evidence and research gaps that help understand the safety of the technique
- Exploring the expectations of the sector and stakeholders, including concerns related to Animal Welfare
26 APRIL 2022
Agenda (10:00 – 12:00)
- David Bassett | EATiP and Ana Granados | EFFAB / FABRE TP
- Gene editing in Europe – a policy status, by Frank Swartenbroux | EC DG SANTE Biotechnology unit
- Gene editing – what is it about?, by Diego Robledo | Roslin Institute
- Targeting sterility in fish, by Anna Wargelius | Institute of Marine Research
- Disease resistance, by Ross Houston | Benchmark Genetics
- Salmon lice resistance, by Tone-Kari Knutsdatter Østbye | Nofima
- Gene editing approaches, by Alan Tinch | Center for Aquaculture Technologies
We are delighted to inform Platform members and EATiP supporters that following on from our successful trial last year, we will be hosting another intern at the EATiP office – this time during the first half of February with a second two week block scheduled for the early summer.
Estelle Bertimes is a 22 year old Belgian student, who is currently studying in her second year of a Masters in Oceanography at the University of Liège, Belgium.
As part of the Master programme, students have to experience a one-month internship in an organisation linked to the broad field of oceanography. For this internship, Estelle expressed a wish to work with the EATIP to experience a different point of view with regard to oceanography and to learn how aquaculture is included in ocean science.
It is Estelle’s view that “aquaculture is the future for marine organism production and I feel it is important to learn more about it.” A further attraction is the wide range of conferences and events with which EATiP engage (although sadly most are still online at the moment…) with Estelle adding that she is “interested in learning everything especially when it comes to biology, environment or general science topics“.
Certain tasks have been identified by the Secretariat that Estelle will be able to work on independently whilst helping us, including analysis of our EATiP Forum events and also liaison work with our EATiP Mirror Platforms. We thank members and supporters in advance for your support and willingness to engage with Estelle’s work to help the EATiP platform.
Bienvenue à bord Estelle!
The European Farm to Fork strategy aims to reach higher levels of food self-sufficiency through sustainable food production systems. Many different human activities at sea cause pressures and high competition for space in the marine space. The expansion and intensification of economic activities in coastal areas are important drivers to look for opportunities to produce seafood in exposed coastal and ocean areas. This expansion demands new technologies and knowledge to enable safe and profitable operations.
The EATiP Forum, co-hosted by its Mirror Platform NCE Aquatech, linked offshore aquaculture to Europe’s ambitions for Blue Growth, and addressed new trends, systems and technologies that contribute to expanding the suitable space for aquaculture production.
- Welcome by the EATIP. David Bassett | EATiP
- Welcome by the Co-host NCE Aquatech. Kristian Henriksen | NCE Aquatech
- Maritime Spatial Planning & Offshore Aquaculture. Céline Frank | EC DG MARE
- Offshore Aquaculture – Trends and developments. Hans Bjelland | SINTEF Oceans
- Biobased gears as solutions for the creation of an eco-friendly offshore aquaculture sector. Leire Arantzamendi Egiguren | AZTI
- Offshore shellfish aquaculture – Opportunities and limits. Lorenzo Gennari | EMPA
- Atlantis Subsea Farming – experiences and results. Trude Olafsen | AKVA Group
- The multi-use concept within UNITED – Case report piloting offshore wind and aquaculture multi-use in the North Sea. Nancy Nevejan and Annelies Declercq | UNITED / Ugent
This event was the first in a series aiming to disseminate specific aquaculture project outputs from the EU Horizon Framework programmes and demonstrating support for key objectives including the Strategic Guidelines for competitive and sustainable aquaculture in the EU, the Blue Economy, the European Green Deal and Farm 2 Fork Strategies.
The forum was organised online on the 29th of September 2021 with the support of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers.
If you are interested in taking part in a future “On the Horizon” project dissemination event then please contact the EATiP secretariat giving your name, organisation and a link to your project*.
Please find below all the presentations in pdf or watch the recordings.
29 September 2021
Agenda (10:00 – 12:00)
Welcome by the EATIP General Secretary, Mr. David Bassett
Introduction by the FEAP President, Mrs. Lara Barazi
Virtual Aquaculture Laboratory for optimizing experiments with fish and water treatment setups.
Finn Olav Bjørnson | SINTEF Ocean
Dietary effects on growth, survival and behavioural responses in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) larvae.
Ibon García Gallego | ULPGC
Potential of novel and circular based economy raw materials as main ingredients in salmon diets.
Katerina Kousoulaki | NOFIMA
Improving resource efficiency and disease resistance of farmed fish by selective breeding.
Antti Kause | Luke – Natural Resources Institute Finland
Genetic breeding approach to increase efficiency, reduction, and sustainability.
Julianna Kobolak | Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE)
Parasite management using data.
Björgólfur Hávarðsson | The Seafood Innovation Cluster Norway
*As we develop the service, priority will be given to EATiP members and organisations linked to our Mirror Platforms (MIPs) and associates but we welcome expressions of interest from all within the aquaculture value chain.
Expansion and diversification of Europe’s aquaculture is therefore vital for our food security. NewTechAqua pursues a comprehensive approach to increase production while reducing the pressure on the environment.
As a recent EUMOFA study reveals the importance of the freshwater aquaculture sector is underestimated in Europe. Aquaculture in fishponds (mainly for carp production) and flow-through systems (mainly for trout farming) are the major types of freshwater aquaculture in Europe. Both types of production are currently undergoing significant changes to explore the potentials and to meet environmental, social and economic challenges. Combined intensive-extensive (CIE) systems provide good opportunities to achieve an increased fish production without compromising existing ecosystem services of fishponds and strengthening circular bioeconomy. Recirculated Aquaculture Systems (RAS) enable a more efficient use of freshwater resources and can also be integrated into the carp supply chain. Improved freshwater aquaculture systems contribute not only to the better food supply but also provide employment opportunities in rural regions while maintaining European landscapes and cultural heritage.
The EATiP Forum on Freshwater aquaculture, co-hosted by its Mirror Platform HUNATiP, addressed new trends, systems and technologies that contribute to a more efficient use and protection of freshwater resources – in Europe and at a global level.
- by David Bassett | EATiP and László Váradi | HUNATiP
- Freshwater Aquaculture in the EU: current situation and potentialities for growth, by Safa Souidi | EUMOFA
- Innovations and challenges in freshwater aquaculture for the sustainable utilization and preservation of valuable freshwater resources, by Reinhold Hanel | EIFAAC
- Transfer of innovative freshwater aquaculture in developing countries, by Jesper Helbdo | Aquacircle
- Use of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) for the better exploitation of freshwater resources, by Tamás Bardocz | AquaBioTech
- Sustainable intensification: ecosystem services combining fish production, by Béla Halasi-Kovács | MATE AKI HAKI
- An innovative freshwater multi trophic system trialled on Irish peatlands, by Damien Toner | BIM
Q&A, moderated by László Váradi | HUNATiP
Conclusions and closing remarks
View the mentimeter results
Read the report:
Watch the video:
Presentations are now online.
Enabling technologies adapted to sector-specific challenges have the potential to create high-impact innovations. More specifically, the digital transformation of the aquaculture sector, applying tools such as cloud services using big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, has the capacity to increase the sector’s efficiency.
The forum focussed on how improvements in precision farming, farming practices and profitability can be attained by using data technologies, and how increased forecasting and modelling capabilities may improve the management decisions.
Please find below the presentations made by innovative aquaculture businesses and leading researchers with an introduction to the wider context and application of big data by the European Commission.
- A comprehensive approach towards boosting digital and data technologies and sustainability in agriculture, by Doris Marquardt, Marjan Van Meerloo | DG AGRI – Unit B2 – Research and Innovation, DG RTD – Unit C3 – Climate and Planetary Boundaries
- Digitalisation in the aquaculture sector, by Per Ivar Lund | ScaleAQ
- The use of IoT and IA for Digitalized and Sustainable Aquaculture, by Marilou Suc | BiOceanOr
- Managing muliti-stakeholder digitalisation and big data project. Bottlenecks and possibilities, by Jørn Torsvik, manager | AquaCloud AS
- PPP Seafood – a system by and for the industry to collaborate on the use of data, by Henrik Stenwig | Norwegian Seafood Federation
- Use of innovative virtual reality methods in practical aquaculture training, by Hendrik Monsees | IGB Berlin
Read the Forum report and recommendations.
View the Mentimeter results
The development of low trophic species aquaculture has been identified as key to obtaining significantly more food and biomass sustainably. At a European level, the Starfish Mission and the Farm to Fork Strategy have set targets to decarbonise the ocean and to reduce the food system carbon footprint respectively. Innovations in cultivation of seaweed and microalgae can contribute to reach those ambitious targets.
The EATiP Forum was co-hosted by two of its Mirror Platforms, i.e. the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and the Irish Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (IATiP). Jointly, speakers from across Europe shared innovations within the area of seaweed and microalgae cultivation.
Welcome by the EATIP, Alexandra Neyts
- Seaweed aquaculture – Ireland’s perspective. Lucy Watson | BIM
- Advancements in Scottish seaweed aquaculture. Michelle Stanley | SAMS
- Microalgal innovation at Shannon ABC. Sushanta Saha | Shannon ABC
- Implementation of new red weed husbandry processes in the hatchery. Freddie O’Mahony | Cartron Point Shellfish
- Towards a sustainable production of novel food from new high value seaweeds. Bertrand Jacquemin | CEVA
- The future – A perspective from Denmark and Europe. Susan Holdt | DTU Food, Annette Bruhn | Aarhus University
Q&A from audience
Europe has one of the world’s highest standards of animal welfare. It provides the European aquaculture sector with a competitive advantage in the consumer’s search for safe, healthy and environmental-friendly food products. The Farm to Fork Strategy, which is at the heart of the European Green Deal, is aiming to strengthen this position. The EATiP Forum highlighted a set of smart solutions and digitalization tools to achieve better monitoring, control and management for different aquaculture systems, both at sea and on land.
The presentations can be viewed by clicking on the titles below.
The forum was organised in collaboration with the EU funded project AQUAEXCEL2020.
- Remote monitoring and analysis and fish welfare indicators in realtime. Sven Jørund Kolstø / CEO Optoscale
- Novel sensors to measure distributed flow in aquaculture sea cages. AQUAEXCEL2020 Asko Ristolainen /Tallinn University of Technology. View recording HERE
- Water Quality Monitoring in Relation to Animal Welfare. Mette Cristine Schou Frandsen / OxyGuard International
- Improving Atlantic salmon feeding process efficiency with the Smart System for Feeding Control (SICA). AQUAEXCEL2020 Rosa Martínez Álvarez-Castellanos / CTN-Marine Technology Centre
- AI-based fish health diagnosis. Dominik Ewald / Co-founder & CSO Monitorfish
- The potential of functional feeds to improve fish welfare. Charles McGurk / R&D manager Skretting ARC
Thank you for your interest and see you at our next event!