INvertebrateIT connects aquaculture stakeholders to exploit invertebrate-based solutions for sustainable feed

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By Milthon Lujan

Marine Institute welcomes the recent call from the EU INvertebrateIT project which is open to all stakeholders in aquaculture to collaborate with three small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on several promising invertebrate-based feed solutions in the EU Atlantic regions.

The SMEs were selected to receive support from INvertebrateIT as they showed high potential for addressing the sustainability of feed, a key challenge facing aquaculture.

“INvertebrateIT is now working to establish Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the EU Atlantic regions, involving interested stakeholders and the winning SMEs. These partnerships will accelerate the market viability of the products, while delivering on the environmental and societal needs set out by INvertebrateIT,” Ms Pauline O’Donohoe, Marine Institute explained.

The Marine Institute hosted a successful INvertebrateIT Matchmaking and Brokerage Event at the WAS/EAS Aqua2018 Conference in August in Montpellier, where stakeholders got the opportunity to meet potential collaborators and promote their businesses.

Thirty-seven matchmaking meetings took place at this highly interactive event. The INvertebrateIT Brokerage Event promoted the three selected projects, allowing for engagement of stakeholders and the creation and mobilisation of Public Private Partnerships, which as the project continues will enhance visibility and develop greater networking opportunities.

To make the most of these partnerships, INvertebrateIT welcomes the opinion of expert stakeholders on which challenges should be prioritised. Examples of partnerships might include, but is not limited to:

• Technical workshops led by regional authorities, for invertebrate producers to transfer knowledge, engage local organisations and explore sustainable projects in coastal areas.
• Commercial and scientific collaboration between producers and public aquariums, to test new feeds and species and engage society.
• A school project encouraging invertebrate producers to visit schools in their area, to inspire careers and increase consumer support.

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Typical fish-based feeds are the single highest cost in aquaculture farming, and increasing demand, price volatility and impact on natural resources are limiting the industry’s growth and sustainability. For a growing global population eating more seafood than ever, other resources must be exploited.

“This INvertebrateIT project is designed to help SMEs to diversify their business, and to contribute to a better management of organic waste and/or new algal substrates by utilising it for invertebrate production, to be incorporated in aquaculture feeds, providing a new source of proteins for fish diets,” said Ms O’Donohoe.

Through partnerships with leading industry stakeholders, it is hoped these innovative ideas can be transformed into market-ready products and offer a viable solution to these challenges across the EU Atlantic regions.

“For example, increasingly, invertebrates such as flies, worms and small crustaceans are providing a sustainable and plentiful alternative to the resource-hungry raw materials that are otherwise commonly used. These invertebrates provide a rich source of essential proteins and oils that can provide the nutrients required for farmed fish,” Ms O’Donohoe said.

To find out more about INvertebrateIT or future PPPs, please

Source: Marine Institute

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