INTEGRATE fosters cooperation for industrial transition towards Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in the Atlantic Area

Bangor University, a research group working in aquaculture since the mid-1960s, Joins the INTEGRATE project

Bangor University’s College of Environmental Science and Engineering has joined the INTEGRATE project until the project closure in 2023. Participants include Dr Jonathan King, based in the School of Ocean Sciences, and Dr Nathalie Fenner, of the School of Natural Sciences. The group has worked in aquaculture research since the mid-1960s and we now operate the Shellfish Centre, dedicated to research supporting that sector. Much of our aquaculture work has been supported by the EU, including INTERREG; Bangor were the lead partner in the SEAFARE project for example.

To support the project, we will welcome two additional members of staff, including Conchúr Hughes who joined the team last month. Conchúr will work with Jon to map site suitability for IMTA production using different species combinations. The method estimates the optimal biological conditions for the three species and combines these. The figure shows overall site suitability for Salmo salar, Mytilus edulis, and Laminaria digitata, focusing on Ireland the three marked sites A-C are sites with the best environment for all three species. Conchúr informed us that he ‘recently completed my MSc in Marine Biology at Bangor and joined up with Jonathan King to continue the work I started during my Master’s project. My role within the INTEGRATE project involves identifying multiple species with a high potential for use within an Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system and creating habitat suitability models to identify the optimal location to establish a new IMTA system using these species. I’m thrilled to be able to continue working in this field, which has given me the opportunity to further develop my skills as a Marine Biologist’.

We are also in the process of recruiting a researcher to work with Dr Nathalie Fenner, who will be responsible for obtaining and analysing the main input data to model the fate of carbon and nitrogen in a ‘Pond IMTA’ system, using previously collected data as well as new data. A Pond IMTA C & N model will be developed using stable isotopes, with partners (e.g., GreenCoLAB in Portugal) to provide an evaluation of the emissions and bioremediation potential of IMTA primary producers and/or different IMTA systems to support decisions on management strategies and species selection.