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GoJelly - A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GoJelly (GoJelly - A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2020-12-31

GoJelly aims to develop, test and promote a gelatinous solution to microplastic pollution by developing a TRL 5-6 prototype microplastics filter for commercial and public use, where the main raw material is jellyfish mucus. The by-products of the GoJelly biomass have other uses as well, ensuring that GoJelly also delivers a green innovation, resulting in a novel resource for the food and feed industry as well as fertilizer for organic farming. The GoJelly prototype products will be tested and demonstrated in three different European seas, by a range of stakeholders, including commercial fishers and industry partners. Tying it together, the project will also ensure the possibilities for broader European promotion and utilization of GoJelly at the local, regional, and global level by delivering a socioecological methodological toolbox for forming and implementing policies. GoJelly will broadly communicate its results in several formats such as traditional social media, open lab ship cruise, and in the form of a game depicting different management scenarios. An interdisciplinary and international consortium consisting of technology developers, business analysts, fishing companies, research institutes, and both natural and social scientists will realize GoJelly and will ensure the uptake of GoJelly products by industry and policymakers.

The main objectives are:
Objective 1: build an ecological model to trace the origin of jellyfish seed populations and develop a short term prediction tool on JF aggregations and drifting.
Objective 2: take advantage of the particle-binding properties of JF mucus, in order to develop an innovative filter to trap the small plastic particles at waste-water treatment plants and thereby mitigate this pollution.
Objective 3: GoJelly will consolidate and validate existing basic research on JF microplastic trapping efficiency with the aim of designing a prototype to be tested in pilot-scale experiments within selected case study areas.
Objective 4: To develop a variety of JF based products including nutraceuticals, antioxidants, JF derived foods and feed, JF organic fertilizer, a new line of cosmetic cream for external application, bioactive compounds from JF species intended as additives.
Objective 5: Assesses the global socio-economic and environmental benefits and trade-offs of an International Treaty banning microplastics in household products.
Objective 6: Explore the consumer willingness to adapt and assess whether private governance schemes affect consumer purchasing behaviour, as an alternative to a global ban.
Objective 7: evaluate JF trade-off scenarios in three case areas in the Norwegian- North- and Mediterranean Seas for case-specific important industries.
Objective 8: To develop marketing and exploitation strategies for intended products and services in the different market segments to the customer’s responsible end-users
By the end of RP2, GoJelly delivered 17 scientific reports in the form of deliverables, some of which with exceptionally high-impact potentials. In brief main results achieved in this PR are as follows:
1. We harvested, either directly or through a collaboration with fishers, over 1.5 tons of biomass from different jellyfish species. Our visit to Chinses jellyfish fishery sites helped to finalize writing a perspective/review manuscript which is to be submitted in the RP3. In addition, the jellyfish farming approach was discussed with a European entrepreneur (e.g. Jellyfish Farm) and by testing innovative contraptions (e.g. the Flow2Vortex).
2. the project delivered documents on optimization of numerous protocols for the handling and processing of jellyfish biomass for a variety of applications, including fertilizers, aquafeeds for fish, collagen for cosmetics, food for human consumption or as a source of nutritional supplements (e.g. anti-oxidative compounds, fatty acids, etc.).
3. GoJelly consortium submitted a provisional patent on the efficacy of mucin extracted from jellyfish in flocculating micro-and nano-plastic particles in solution (Provisional Patent Application No. 63/114,808). We extend the current state-of-the-art in knowledge on jellyfish mucus extraction and characterization by studying three additional jellyfish species, rather than the common moon jelly.
4. the consortium managed to test the variety of jellyfish biomass for a different line of products such as a fertilizer additive, aquafeed, as a source of collagen within cosmetics, of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral cytotoxic peptides, well as a potential supplement to Western-style diets. Furthermore, two patents on JF biomass processing for human consumption were deposited, whilst recipes for JF based foods were published in the form of a cookbook.
5. a Substantial number of peer-reviewed publications were achieved through stakeholder consultations.
6. GoJelly consortium started to run an analysis on the economic feasibility of our GoJelly mucin-derived biofilter as well as of refitting fishing boats to include jellyfish within their target species has been assessed.
7. We performed a high-quality CDE implemented through media presence (e.g. Euronews and BBC), numbers of Twitter and Facebook participation in an international policy-making event, trade-fairs, seminars and conferences, among others. In total GoJelly consortium took part in 34 events just in 2020 under the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
(1) Anti-microplastic filter: we filed a provisional patent where evidence-based results were given on the high efficiency of jellyfish mucus to entrap MP and NP as well as the filter prototype demonstration.
(2) GoJelly managed to extend the current state-of-the-art knowledge on the origin of jellyfish blooms by combining a coupled population genetics with a Lagrangian drift model as a novel approach. In addition, data collection through citizen science (JellySpotter App) will build a Risk Map helping to forecast JF blooms.
(3) Socio-economic game: In the PR2, the Norwegian partner invented a gaming platform to collect data from a stakeholder perspective. In parallel, we develop a digital game innovative application to explore the basic issues of MP and simulate JF blooms and socio-economic trade-offs
(4) Organic fertilizer: Scientific evidence demonstrates the high performance of a JF-based fertilizer to improve soil quality. This finding can be explored in further soil conservation management studies. GoJelly managed to provide a new soil fertilizer compound of green cut and JF biomass.
(5) GoJelly deliver two new prototypes to the EC based on European JF collagen products.
(6) GoJelly expand the state of knowledge on the mucus structure and functions by taking three new species into account.
(7) JF cookbook: An innovative (sustainable) JF processing for food was filed for two patents. Several new "western-style" food receipt was published in the JF cookbook.
(8) In terms of JF-Fishery, GoJelly set up a harvesting guideline, explored JF bycatch and set up a questionary to interview fishers on their view of the JF-harvesting as bycatch.
(9) Jellyfish were used for the first time as a live feed to fish aquaculture.
(10) variety of protocols were given for extraction, purification and preservation of JF biomass to be used for different product lines.
(11) GoJelly reached its CDE actions even higher than originally planned despite restrictions regarding the Covid-10 pandemic.