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Model approach to organic fish farming

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By Milthon Lujan

Brussels.- Organic aquaculture production is much in demand, but some traditional fish farmers may need guidance on how to make the switch. The ECOFISH project is developing a model and guide that provide just that, helping to set producers on the path to sustainability and added value.

Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector in our food system and is an important source of sustainable food in Europe. With demand for food growing and hundreds of hectares of formerly agricultural land being used for other purposes, enhancing both the economic competitiveness and sustainability of aquaculture are attractive prospects.

The EU-funded ECOFISH project is developing a model and guide to encourage and help conventional fish farms to switch to organic aquaculture. Sustainable aquaculture farms take specific measures to protect the environment, natural resources and landscape during production.

ECOFISH will use aquaponics to achieve a sustainable production system for both plants and fish. Aquaponics combines traditional aquaculture livestock rearing of fish with hydroponics – the process of growing plants in water – in a symbiotic environment (meaning that the elements within it are dependent on each other for growth – it is a production system in which waste from the livestock is used as nutrients for the plants.

The ECOFISH project will establish, test and provide good practice guidelines for such a model.

The improved waste management practices provided by this system offer clear advantages in terms of the circular economy when compared to other production cycles. And the combination of aquaculture and agricultural production is not only sustainable for the environment, but also provides high-value, organic, pesticide and chemical-free food products.

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ECOFISH will also carry out processing and marketing activities during the project to bolster the added value of the end products and raise awareness of the potential benefits of organic aquaculture.

Project details

Project acronym: ECOFISH
Participants: Romania (Coordinator), Spain
Project N°: 645691
Total costs: € 580 500
EU contribution: € 580 500
Duration: June 2015 – May 2019

Project details: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/196835_en.html

Source: European Commission

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