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

Capitalization of results: Launch of CEVA’s offshore platform IMTA

Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) appears as an eco-innovative solution for the sustainable development of aquaculture. It is an important part of the European Union’s blue growth strategy. CEVA is heavily involved in the European Integrate project and is a partner in several European and national project dealing with IMTA.

With its knowledge and skills in biology, ecology, seaweed farming and valorization, CEVA actively participated in the development of the “Seaweed” sector in France and internationally, and is very involved in innovative projects relating to the concept of IMTA. Thus, the CEVA has actively participated in various actions on European INTEGRATE project and co-leads WP4: Understanding IMTA best-practices in Atlantic Area.

The main tasks carried out by CEVA have focused on:

  • Experimentation with new IMTA technologies at sea and on land,
  • The development of an ecological IMTA close to the coast combining the cultivation of algae of great interest for human food, with the production of oysters,
  • The development of a standard model of semi-extensive production in AMTI on land, respectful of the environment,
  • Assessment of national regulatory frameworks governing the development of commercial IMTA in EAE,
  • Consultation of producers and industries of each aquaculture sector, and the main stakeholders, to identify levers and obstacles specific to each country, in order to define the common strategy for the development of IMTA at European level,
  • Built of an inventory of AMTI projects and stakeholders in Europe.

In order to capitalize on the knowledge acquired in research projects such as the INTEGRATE project, knowledge relating to integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), the best IMTA practices identified by the project, and continued the work initiated on the evaluation of the environmental benefits of these systems, to contribute to the deployment of the AMTI in the European Atlantic zone, CEVA wished to acquire an innovative research and training tool. This new innovative cultivation and environmental monitoring platform has been deployed.

After several months of construction with our partner TEPSA (Tecnica de Envases Pesqueros SA) in Spain, our new integrated multitrophic aquaculture culture platform was assembled near CEVA, on the Pen Lan peninsula, before being transferred to the sea. Thanks to TSMB (Travaux Sous-Marins Bretagne) for this towing!

Installed on our concession, in the Trieux estuary (Côtes d’Armor, Brittany), it will allow to carry out research activities relating to the development of algae cultivation and IMTA practices, and to monitor algal biodiversity and water quality in an area covering many aquaculture activities.

The challenges for this new platform were multiple:

  • Develop eco-responsible cultivation practices (e.g. IMTA) in agreement with the strategic axes of regional and national development plans.
  • Establish of a pilot area, witness to biodiversity, the available biological resources and the quality of the environment.
  • Provide high frequency environmental data.
  • Develop training in good farming practices and awareness of the impact of cultivation practices on the environment.

The platform will be available to professionals in the seaweed sector or to project leaders wishing to learn about farming practices that respect the environment, to industrialists or scientists wishing to carry out specific research work with CEVA.