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OATP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 44290
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Ireland

A new direction for EU aquaculture

The prospect of moving aquaculture away from the shoreline could help the ecosystem, support the sector economically and provide better quality seafood for the consumer.
A new direction for EU aquaculture
Offshore aquaculture involves establishing marine farms in the deep sea vs. near the seashore. It is considered better for the ecosystem and could provide a solution to finding more space for fish farming.

The EU-funded project 'Evaluation of the promotion of offshore aquaculture through a technology platform' (OATP) examined the viability of moving aquaculture offshore. It brought together different sides of the industry such as aquaculture operators, manufacturers and researchers in order to address the challenge of offshore aquaculture.

The project looked at challenges involved such as equipment to handle heavier winds and waves that could give birth to a strong, high-tech sustainable industry producing quality fish products. Such a vision must consider fish strains being cultivated, remote telemetry for management and general automation. It also must address development of customised technology, new systems for solving husbandry issues and work practices, as well as implementation of the regulatory framework.

The project could potentially increase overall investment in the sector, strengthen networks and encourage cluster development in the field, providing opportunities at a regional level and overcoming the sector's weaknesses. It could also lead to a set of coherent policies to further aquaculture and help articulate the regulatory framework involved.

The project's results and findings were announced on the website of the European Aquaculture Technology Platform and were integrated into the platform's vision. OATP also produced a guide for the sustainable development of Mediterranean aquaculture with many valuable recommendations. These results and publications will help ensure that aquaculture in Europe is heading away from the shore and in the right direction.

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