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Demonstrable and replicable cluster implementing systemic solutions through multilevel circular value chains for eco-efficient valorization of fishing and fish industries side-streams

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EcoeFISHent (Demonstrable and replicable cluster implementing systemic solutions through multilevel circular value chains for eco-efficient valorization of fishing and fish industries side-streams)

Reporting period: 2021-10-01 to 2023-03-31

EcoeFISHent project aims to demonstrate systemic solutions for eco-efficient territorial deployment by creating a multilevel replicable circular socio-economic and sustainable cluster for interconnecting blue- and green-economy, in a geographical cohesive area centered in Liguria region and extending to North-Western Italy . EcoeFISHent targets addressing several economic, environmental and social challenges which are now affecting fish & fishing industry (FFI). The specific objectives of the project are focused on the development of innovative, profitable, climate-neutral circular value chains (CVCs) and actions
oriented to the implementation of territorial systemic solutions and ecosystem preservation. EcoeFISHent main objectives are:
1) to overcome the main limitations hampering Fish and Fishing Sidestreams (FFS) and of Fish Co-Products (FCP), effective and economic sustainable exploitation
2) turning side-streams costs into economic positive value and cluster revenues by implementing CVCs for bio-mass efficient exploitation.
3) to valorize FPS and Agri-Side-Streams (ASS) by setting up two circular sustainable packaging value chains:
4) to obtain a complete exploitation loop for FPS, including side-streams from bioactives extraction, through FFS and FCP bio-conversion by rearing Black Soldier Fly
5) to reduce the amount of plastic marine litter by providing a feasible, profitable territorial solution to recycle polyamide (PA6- PA66) and Polyethylene (PE) end-of life aquaculture and fishing nets
6) to set up actions for improving selective fishing tools and practices in GSA-910 to reduce by-catch,
7) to implement a “Stop Ghost Gear” program to remove abandoned nets from seabed in GSA-9 Marine Protected Areas
8) to address the climate-neutral and non-renewable resources preservation goals at different levels in the CVCs through the development and adoption of best practices by citizens and local communities,
9) to optimize and implement technologies, to employ and deploy materials that support emission reduction in transport by reducing distances,
10) to optimize cluster materials and information flows through a distributed cloud infrastructure logistic system supported by a dedicated app.
11) to interconnect the territorial eco-system stakeholders and to set up synergic financial flows
12) to support scalability and replicability of the multi-level circular systemic solution in European and Extra-European regions by developing Custer Digital Twin
Within the WP1 important results have been achieved with regards to regulatory compliance and an initial development of the logistics chain. Specifically, the analysis of European and Italian legislations has allowed to give a definition to the type of fish side streams used in the project and to organize, consequently, the planned shipments and logistic. In fact, in case of sidestream the legal obligations and the authorization procedures in term of transport and processing depend by their material source and categorization.
In WP2 the analytical plan has been designed, to be applied to the raw materials, the dehydrated products thanks to the pretreatment process provided. Numerous tests have carried out, supporting the optimization and design phase of the EPPU pilot, which is a mild thermal technology with reduced environmental impact necessary to transform fish sidestream in a stable product, the EcoeFISHent powder. The dehydrated product from three different supply chains, was the basis of the development and optimization activities and for the insect bioconversion.
For the product development some preliminary tests have been performed like eye irritation test, chemical activated LUciferase gene eXpression and gastrointestinal toxicity on epintestinal (MatTek).
In relation to the development of gelatine extraction and coating formulations, first trials have been performed on commercial gelatine to test and evaluate their properties and processability in water solutions. Regarding the production of expanded PLA fish boxes, preliminary trials have been performed and the results are promising. As for the recyclability of post-consumer fishing and aquaculture nets, an evaluation of their chemical nature has been carried out.
The main activities carried out so far to improve fishing techniques and tools are: (i) identification of the fishery to be used as case study (blue and red and giant red shrimp and Norway lobster); (ii) the identification of the fishing gears to be tested (codend trawl nets of different mesh size). In parallel to the gear identification, the sampling protocol and the sampling design were finalized .
The implementation of the “Stop Ghost gear program”, where ghost gear is abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear, started
The evaluation of the overall sustainability of the six value chains started in the 6th month of the project and the assessment comprises the three dimensions of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. supporting the activities of the other partners identifying the most sustainable solution among what has been studied and developed.
The following D&C activities have been carried out during the first project reporting period :
• The project visual identity including the EcoeFISHent logo, and design elements to be used for online and offline communication.
• Project flyer, to provide a quick overview on the EcoeFISHent key concepts.
• A roll-up poster was also deployed for project presentation during meetings and events.
• Project website ( has been created to disseminate the project main concepts and goals, with contents suitable for different audiences such as general public, scientific community, stakeholders and consortium members. It also provides continuous updates on project activities.
• The EcoeFISHent social media channels were opened to encourage communication on project activities and the dissemination of results to a wider audience. These allow the quick sharing of visual material (photos, videos, infographics) and news about the project, fostering discussion on project related topics.
CSI 1 – Decoupling of economic and human activities from the consumption of finite resources and GHG emissions, ensuring the transition towards circular and climate-neutral economy.
CSI 2 – Improved sustainability and circularity of clusters’ economic sectors, natural ecosystems, management and valorisation of local resources.
CSI 3 – Emergence of circular business opportunities and a structured pipeline of investment projects.
CSI 4 - Increased circular and climate-neutral practices among citizens and their participation in systemic solutions.
CSI 5 – Creation of jobs in the short to medium term.
CSI 6 – More effective development of circular solutions through knowledge transfer between the territorial clusters funded under this topic and other territories across EU member states and associated countries
CSI7 – More effective widespread uptake and easier replication, scalability and visibility of circular systemic solutions and hence multiplication of the economic, social and environmental benefits.
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