Smart Circular Aquaculture Partnership Launched!

On behalf of EATiP, our Mirror Platforms and the Hauts de France region, EATiP and Pole Aquimer have attended the launch of the Thematic Smart Specialisation Platform (TSSP) for Smart Circular Aquaculture at the S3 Forum in Barcelona.
Aquaculture has been identified as one of the highlighted areas in the S3 Thematic Platform on Sustainable Blue Economy. The partnership has particular ambitions to contribute to the blue economy targets related to:
  • Energy transition in the aquaculture sector: introduction of renewable energy sources, more efficient use of energy, less energy-demanding feed resources
  • More efficient use of water & space: RAS technologies, aquaponics, site optimisation with respect to ecosystem hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry and to other uses of the marine space, monitoring and management tools for precision farming
  • Fighting scarcity of feed ingredients: resource-efficient novel feeds e.g. SCP, algae, insects, marine invertebrates
  • Better use of side streams, promoting circular production systems: recovering and utilising by-products from processing plants: fish, shellfish; from RAS/closed systems: sludge, effluents; exploring business model for IMTA and aquaponics
  • More targeted and skilled human capacity: training of existing staff and educating new candidates to enable the needed transitions in aquaculture
Further details on the platform are available here.

The EATiP General Secretary introduces the founding EATiP Mirror Platforms and Lead Region

Founding EATiP Mirror Platforms within the Partnership include: Pole Aquimer, Cluster Acuiplus, NCE Aquatech, NCE Aquaculture, AquaCultuur Vlaanderen and with the lead Region of Hauts de France.

This platform is part of the Smart Specialisation Strategy Community of Practice (S3 CoP) concept.  This is itself part of the Communities and Networks policy of European Regional Cohesion Policy.
Two years ago DG MARE, in conjunction with DG REGIO, founded a new pillar of the Smart Specialisation strategy:  Blue Economy.  There are five areas of interest – Renewable Energy, Tourism, Blue Bio Technology, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
EATiP are very keen to hear from aquaculture stakeholders who think that there is interest from within their own region to join the TSSP, or who are aware of regional / national clusters that might like to join the EATiP Mirror Platform network.
  • If you are aware of other European regions that have aquaculture included within their Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies (this is a pre-requisite to be included in the Partnership) or of multi stakeholder, industry led, aquaculture clusters then please let us know!
We welcome any thoughts, comments or questions and look forward to hearing from you!

Presenting the new TSSP Smart Circular Aquaculture Platform to the plenary session.

EATiP joins the AAC

Further to today’s special General Meeting, EATiP is delighted to have been officially welcomed as a member of the AAC – the European Aquaculture Advisory Council.  Commenting on the decision, the EATiP President, Gustavo Larrazábal, drew attention to the challenges and opportunities facing European aquaculture, noting: “the cutting edge research and innovation activities for which European aquaculture is justifiably highly regarded will be key in achieving the ambitions for European aquaculture production and realising the targets and objectives that the industry, civil society and regulators aspire to.  EATiP stand ready to lend our support to the AAC in their deliberations and to assist wherever possible through our experience, expertise and membership network, highlighting the role that technology, research and innovation may have to play and bringing strategic research and innovation priorities to the fore in considering further development for a sustainable European aquaculture sector.

EATiP has been supportive of the establishment of the AAC from the first recommendations for such a Council to be established –  as part of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013. For some time, EATiP has been operating as an observer at AAC and further to some internal organisational readjustments in 2021, EATiP is now able to commit sufficient staff time and resources to be able to operate as a full and active member of the AAC.

A key factor in the EATiP Boad agreeing this decision was set in the context of the adoption of the Com(2021) 236 – Communication for Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021- 2030 and Com(2021) 240 Communication on a new approach to a sustainable blue economy in the EU transforming the EU’s Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future. Within Annex 1 of the Com(2021) 236 (strategic guidelines) a number of points are referenced to the AAC where we feel EATiP will be in a position to assist and collaborate with the AAC and with the European Commission and we look forward to working proactively and productively on this.

Areas of specific interest for EATiP with regard to the AAC and the EU Strategic Guidelines inlcude:

Section 2.4 – Increasing Knowledge and Innovation

  • Encourage aquaculture producers and other stakeholders to work together with research and innovation institutes and public authorities to find solutions to the challenges of the sustainable development of EU Aquaculture
  • Disseminate information on research and innovation projects and their results among members
  • Promote the uptake by the EU aquaculture industry of existing innovation
  • Promote in the aquaculture sector the regular training of aquaculture professionals in particular on how to incorporate innovation practices.

Section 2.3 – Ensuring social acceptance and information to the Consumer

  • Support and ensure the broad dissemination by members of the coordinated EU-wide campaign on EU aquaculture.
  • Promote the use of digitalisation tools and artificial intelligence for the traceability and transparency of aquaculture products.

    Section 2.2 – Participating in the Green Transition

  • Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation to improve the environmental performance of aquaculture operations.
  • Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation on animal welfare.
  • Promote the monitoring and reporting by the aquaculture industry of environmental indicators. Section 2.1 – Building Resilience and Competitiveness
  • Ensure that EU aquaculture producers are informed about relevant research and innovation on animal-health and public-health matters.
  • Encourage the use by the aquaculture sector of digital tools for increased traceability and transparency.

We identify many areas where EATiP will be able to support and assist these ambitions – not only through dissemination and communication with out membership and Mirror Platform Network, but also through inclusion of AAC activities and membership in our online thematic forum events and “On the Horizon” project dissemination service.

The mutual assistance that may be provided between two multi stakeholder organisations such as the AAC and EATiP towards the promotion of a sustainable European aquaculture is clear – and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship together!