A team of European aquaculture experts is to begin a four-year, Horizon 2020-funded study worth almost €7m to establish new strategies and models for sustainable growth.
TAPAS (Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability) aims to create cost-efficient management tools and practices for the European aquaculture sector to investigate the limits to fish farming activity in a particular location, social interactions and potential environmental impacts, as well as any future risks.
Professor Trevor Telfer of the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University, UK, is leading the multi-partner study, which will seek to establish a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ to support transparent and efficient licensing and enhance environmental sustainability and aquatic food security whilst tapping into the potential for food production and jobs.
“As Europe continues to produce millions of tonnes of food each year, we want to ensure this industry is feeding the world in a sustainable way while taking care of the environment,” said Telfer. “By developing new, flexible and unified approaches to aquaculture planning, we aim to strengthen sustainable growth in the vital marine and freshwater sectors.”
The research team will collaborate with industry, regulators, certifiers and other stakeholders to ensure the toolbox they create is accessible, using training and outreach activities to improve the image of European aquaculture and promote an integrated sustainability strategy.
The consortium, which also includes Ireland’s Marine Institute, will evaluate structures currently in operation across the EU’s seas, lakes and rivers, examining various environments and developing new approaches to deliver computer-based support systems for sustainable aquaculture expansion – all of which is in line with the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive to protect marine environments more effectively.
TAPAS will begin this month.