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GoJelly - A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - GoJelly (GoJelly - A gelatinous solution to plastic pollution)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

GoJelly aims to develop, test and promote a gelatinous solution to microplastic pollution by developing a TRL 5-6 prototype microplastic filter for commercial and public use, where the main raw material is jellyfish mucus. The by-products of the GoJelly biomass have other uses in a novel resource for the food and feed industry as well as fertilizer for organic farming. Objectives were:
1: build an ecological model and short term prediction tool to trace the origin of jellyfish blooms.
2: to develop an innovative filter to trap the small plastic particles at waste-water treatment plants.
3: designing a prototype to be tested in pilot-scale experiments within selected case study areas.
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, and bioactive compounds from JF species intended as additives.
5: Assesses the global socio-economic and environmental benefits and trade-offs of an International Treaty banning microplastics in household products.
6: Explore the consumer willingness to adapt and assess whether private governance schemes affect consumer purchasing behaviour, as an alternative to a global ban.
7: evaluate JF trade-off scenarios.
8: To develop marketing and exploitation strategies for intended products and services.^
Conclusions-GoJelly demonstrated a successful management strategy despite its multi-disciplinary nature which was challenging. The project survived pandemic restrictions and performed at its highest achievement level and beyond, having one new product for microplastic removal, one innovative processing method for food production, one innovative aquaculture cage for plankton cultivation, and a series of scientific and non-scientific articles. In addition, the worldwide first predictive tool to forecast JF blooms as well as developing a citizen Science App. GoJelly contributed to Ocean literacy by producing children's books, a digital game and a desk game.
Project partners continue to be involved in the upcoming Horizon Europe missions and calls, especially in the zero-emission and green deal-related topics.
GoJelly delivered 49 scientific articles and reports (deliverables), some of which with exceptionally high-impact potential. The main results achieved in this PR are as follows:

1. over 1.5 tons of JF biomass was harvested. We published a paper on JF fishery. Jellyfish farming was discussed with an entrepreneur (e.g. Jellyfish Farm).
2. delivered documents on the optimization of numerous protocols for the handling and processing of JF biomass.
3. 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. tested 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. started to run an analysis on the economic feasibility of our GoJelly mucin-derived biofilter and refitting fishing boats to include jellyfish within their target species.
7. 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, we took part in 34 events in 2020 under the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
8. Jellyfish Risk map was published recently, as a tool to predict JF blooms. This risk map is backed up by the population matrix model, genetic studies, hydrodynamic models, and citizen science through the JellySpotter App.
9. Market research was carried out and consumer behaviour through jellyfish-based products was assessed.

two patents were filed: one to capture nano and microplastic from WWMP and the other to process JF biomass for food production. We compiled a data bank on jellyfish-related factors and developed a forecasting tool based on both citizen science activities (Jelly Spotter App), drone spotting, genetic population studies and oceanographic data. An innovative cage (Flow2Vortex) was introduced to the low trophic aquaculture business field. GoJelly demonstrated the ability to produce a variety of products from one single source (food, feed, agriculture, nutraceuticals and cosmetics) thus contributing significantly to any future circular economic growth. The project had a significant contribution to the public mind on both jellyfish and marine debris.
(1) 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) 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, supported by JellySpotter App.
(3) Two games were demonstrating socio-economic trade-offs.
(4) Organic fertilizer: Scientific evidence demonstrated the high performance of a JF-based fertilizer to improve soil quality. GoJelly managed to provide a new soil fertilizer compound of green cut and JF biomass thus addressing the green deal and green innovation.
(5) delivered two new prototypes to the EC based on European JF collagen products, thus contributing to sustainable resource use.
(6) 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) GoJelly set up a harvesting guideline, explored JF bycatch and provided pieces of evidence for the cultivation of JF inside the innovative cage "Flow2Vortex". This opens new doors toward Low Trophic Level Aquaculture.
(9) Jellyfish were used for the first time as a live feed to fish aquaculture.
(10) variety of protocols was 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.

Conclusion: GoJelly was widely recognized by all levels of society, from children to youth and the common public (see WP9 results). It contributed significantly to Blue growth by supporting SMEs' growth through their innovative products such as Jellyfish fertilizer (Hanseatische Umwelt), Ocean Power (CRM) and the Jellyfish cookbook (San Pietro). A new generation of early-career scientists was developed which is reflected in 49 scientific publications which are going to become more in the exploitation phase of the project.

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