Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


AquaSpace Report Summary

Project ID: 633476
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AquaSpace (Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The central goal of the AquaSpace project is to provide increased space of high water quality for aquaculture by adopting the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and so to deliver food security and increased employment opportunities through economic growth.

AquaSpace aims to provide solutions to reduce Europe’s dependency on imported aquatic products, currently at 64% of total consumption (for finfish).

Our detailed objectives by workpackage are:
WP2 Accurately identify industry-wide issues and options
• apply an EAA framework to characterise key influences on the use of space by aquaculture including: governance, legal, environmental, economic, social and cultural issues;
• determine and prioritise the key issues constraining the growth of aquaculture in Europe: offshore, coastal, and inland, in close consultation with stakeholders.
WP3 Develop and deliver tailored tools
• characterise existing tools for assessing spatial issues in relation to aquaculture and external factors such as climate change that will influence selection of aquaculture sites.
• customise or further develop operational tool(s) allowing for a risk-based analysis of spatial management options to support the licensing process and facilitate investments, defined in a given spatial planning context taking into account the constraints identified in WP2 and informed by the real world of the case studies (WP4).
WP4 Work collaboratively with stakeholders on validation of tools
• using a wide range of case studies, define ecosystem boundaries in space and time, and identify the relevant stakeholders through close engagement of local end-users in an issue-focused, user-driven and scale-sensitive manner to test and assess relevant tools and document their utility.
WP5 Synthesise outcomes for post-project legacy and impact
• evaluate and compare the outcomes of case studies and the suitability of different tools, synthesising the lessons learned across spatial and temporal scales, institutional and governance levels, environments, culture practices, and cultivated species.
• work with users to produce an innovative web-based platform (building on successful experiences such as the ecasatoolbox) to deliver the results of the project outputs (tools, evaluations, case studies, synthesis) with entry tailored to the needs of different user profiles (industry, planners, public) providing information and operational tools to end-users.
WP6 Impacts through effective Knowledge Exchange
• exchange information throughout the project with a selected panel of key stakeholders in a User Reference Group (URG e.g. FEAP, EAS, GFCM, IUCN, ICES…) to ensure maximum relevance and impact.
• develop a Masters level online module on MSP for Aquaculture for inclusion in MSc programmes on Aquaculture and Marine Spatial Planning to impact future planners.
• research and develop a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course on MSP for Aquaculture to impact existing planners and industry.
• disseminate the project’s results using newsletters, media presentations and articles, Web 2.0 tools, and smartphone apps, anchored in science published by the partnership in peer-reviewed open access journal papers, through an edited book and a school video competition to widen AquaSpace impact to the maximum extent possible.
• develop a business case for licensing a subset of the intellectual property (IP) developed within the project to an existing or bespoke commercial or other entity to ensure lasting impact.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Assessment of the key governance, legal, environmental, economic, social and cultural issues has been undertaken through literature and peer review. A questionnaire was issued to approximately 100 stakeholders in GFCM, northern and eastern European countries and non-country aligned stakeholders. Responses were collated and presented at a workshop held from 18-1/2/16. The workshop participants included 44 stakeholders from government, industry, and research.
Two web application tools have been developed: a GIS based assessment of where aquaculture can be undertaken and an "Investor Appeal Index" smartphone App.
WP3 conducted a review of existing tools and methods supporting an Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA). The tools were examined according to several criteria. To address the specific focus on costs and benefits resulting from aquaculture activities, a dedicated step in this review process was on the tool functions.
WP3 is developing a spatially explicit Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) GIS tool that is meant to allow for a spatial representation of costs and benefits of a proposed aquaculture site in a multi-use context (including cumulative effects). Hence, the CBA tool comprises of functions that enable an assessment of the spatial explicit performance of inter-sectorial, environmental, economic and socio-cultural indicators for different aquaculture planning scenarios.
The 16 Case Studies include a wide range of types, environmental characteristics and locations, with defined ecosystem boundaries in space and time. All case studies have identified the relevant stakeholders through close engagement of local end users to determine the key spatial issue(s) relating to aquaculture. We are testing and assessing relevant tools and documenting their utility.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

At present, it is just the collating of information that has been completed. We will see impact of this in the second period, and we do expect, given the vast amount on information collected, that we will be able to expand on our perceived levels of impact.

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