Horizon 2020 project to create a value chain system for aquaculture

A Horizon 2020 project has developed a sustainable and profitable value chain system for aquaculture production in the Atlantic regions.

All Atlantic Ocean Sustainable, Profitable and Resilient Aquaculture (ASTRAL) has recently been financed under the Blue Growth programme, with a budget of around €8m. Led by the Norwegian Research Centre, the project will contribute to the implementation of the Belém Statement (e.g. agreement signed by EU, Brazil, and South Africa to develop a strategic partnership on marine research), participating in building the All Atlantic Ocean Community and a profitable value chain system for aquaculture.

The ASTRAL consortium includes 16 partners from ten countries (Norway, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil). The main goal of the project is to increase value and sustainability for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) production by developing new, resilient, and profitable value chains.

In IMTA production, multiple aquatic species from different trophic levels are farmed together. Waste from one species is used as inputs (fertilisers and food) for another species. ASTRAL will develop new, sustainable, profitable, and resilient value chains for IMTA production within the framework of existing, emerging, and potential Atlantic markets.

ASTRAL goals include the increase of circularity and the achievement of zero-waste aquaculture systems, as well as the creation of appropriated business models to increase profitability. Potential climate risks and emerging pollutants will be assessed, together with the development of innovative technology (specific sensors and biosensors, IoT and AI data analytics), with the final aim to provide monitoring recommendations to policymakers.

Sharing knowledge and capacity development are among ASTRAL’s priorities to build a collaborative ecosystem along the Atlantic Ocean with industrial partners, SMEs, scientists, policymakers, social representatives, and other relevant stakeholders.

The ASTRAL consortium includes research and technology organisations (NORCE, LEITAT, SAMS CSIR, CONICET, Marine Institute, NIOMR), Universities (Federal University of Rio Grande, University of Cape Town), SMEs (BioceanOR, EGM, Crowdhelix, M&O Partners, Viking Aquaculture), associations/industrial cluster (PoleMer Bretagne Atlantique) and intergovernmental organisations (AIR Centre).

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