INTEGRATE virtual final event on June 18th

In its final implementation phase, the INTEGRATE project “Integrated Aquaculture, an eco-innovative solution for sustainability in the Atlantic Area”, will host a virtual event on June 18th in order to present its final results. To this end, the programme will involve the eight organisation from the five countries forming the consortium. Together with CTAQUA (Spain), the project leader, the INTEGRATE partners are the research institute Agrocampus Ouest (France), the Scottish Association for Marine Science (United Kingdom), the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (Portugal), the National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland), the Irish Seaweed Consultancy (Ireland), ALGAplus (Portugal), and the Algae Innovation and Technology Centre (France).

The INTEGRATE work plan has addressed the capitalisation of existing and new IMTA knowledge, the definition of IMTA best practices, the environmental efficiency of IMTA systems and the definition of a medium-long term strategy for the implementation of IMTA in the European Atlantic Area. “The dissemination of the project results among the end-users and the general public is key to the success of the project, that is why we are organising this event”, explains Martha Bonnet Dunbar, project coordinator from CTAQUA, who will host the event together with her colleague Erik-Jan Malta.

In this webinar, divided into sessions, the activities developed within the framework of the project will be discussed, as well as the definition of IMTA and its perception both in the Atlantic Area and worldwide.

The results of the pilot actions developed by INTEGRATE will also be presented. The project has eight case studies distributed across three pilot actions in Spain, Portugal, France, and Ireland to develop specific technology and production processes for Atlantic IMTA. The results of this work are useful not only at a production level, but also at a legislative and environmental level.

The final session will be devoted to the future perspectives of IMTA in the Atlantic Area, the importance of knowledge transfer, and the definition of a framework for the development of IMTA.

The event will be held in English.

At the following links you can find the REGISTRATION FORM that will be open until June 10th , and the PROGRAMME.



INTEGRATE is funded by the ERDF through the INTERREG Atlantic Area 2014-2020 programme.

Thematic workshops on IMTA and eco-efficient practices in aquaculture and living labs

The INTEGRATE partners have carried out a series of national workshops to bring together industry, academia and regulatory stakeholders to explain and discuss how IMTA can help the European Aquaculture industry in its aims to further development under an ecologically efficient framework.

The project partners who have implemented pilot actions, as described in previous newsletter, have also organised a series of hands-on visits for the groups targeted during the thematic workshops – allowing interested parties an opportunity to see IMTA in action on the ground and to discuss how IMTA can be practically integrated into the current aquaculture situation in each partner country. In some cases, it has been beneficial to hold the thematic workshops and living labs together in certain countries (i.e. AGROCAMPUS and CEVA held a major IMTA event in Rennes during May 2019, attracting nearly 200 attendees). Each of these events has proved useful in trying to disseminate the IMTA concept, as well as gathering feedback from the stakeholders that will make IMTA a success in the longer term. Most partners have used these events to garner formalized feedback from attendees by use of questionnaires and feedback forms, and where appropriate, this will be included in the formal outputs for each WP. The living lab visits made to partners with practical IMTA facilities has allowed key stakeholders to understand the practical aspects of IMTA, as well as a two-way discussion with the project partners about the view of attendees towards IMTA. It is hoped that the feedback provided in both packages will feed into the ongoing development process of IMTA.


We are very happy to inform our readers that the INTEGRATE partnership has published an article in the March 2020 Volume 45 No 1 issue of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) magazine.

In the article, Defining Multi-Trophic Aquaculture: a concensus, we describe the approach the INTEGRATE project has followed in order to reach a consenus of a definition of IMTA. For an initial overview of the process please view our infographic before reading the full article, accessible by clicking directly on the magazine cover image below.

INTEGRATE Project article: Defining Multi-Trophic Aquaculture: a concensus
The INTEGRATE approach to defining IMTA

The full pdf of the magazine is available for EAS members under the “Members” menu on their website, after logging in with valid membership password.

The CHALLENGE of quantifying impacts of IMTA on the environment

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) promotes a new circular economy model since it is based on an efficient reuse of resources, including waste, in traditional aquaculture facilities. Farmers combine fed species with other organisms that capture their sustenance from the farming environment in an integrated waste-recycling marine polyculture system (Fig. 1). 

Fig. 1 – Schematic explanation of IMTA. Excess nutrients from fish farming can be used to cultivate other species of high commercial value

To be able to predict responses of a production system it is important to count with mathematical models that replicate the fluxes within the productive compartments of the system. However, there are a multitude of IMTA systems that can be developed either in marine or fresh water, in open water or land based. Fig. 2 characterizes the different systems within the INTEGRATE project that were considered for modelling. Conceptual models are normally used to reduce the complexity of these systems. On the one hand, it is unrealistic to develop just one model to represent all IMTA systems even if the biological processes are similar; on the other hand, it is impracticable to have one model for each of them.

(a)  (b)


 (d) (e)

Fig. 2 – Flowcharts from INTEGRATE case studies: (a) Case study 1 (NUIG/ISC): Carnivore – Macroalgae/Carnivore – Omnivore; (b) Case study 2 (CEVA/ALGA+): Filter feeders – Detritivore – Macroalgae; (c) Case study 3.1(ALGA+):  Carnivore + Omnivore polyculture – Macroalgae; (d) Case study 3.2 (CTAQUA): Carnivore monoculture – Filter feeder – Macroalgae; (e) Case study 3.3 (IPMA): Carnivore + Omnivore + Detritivore polyculture – Filter feeder – Macroalgae.

To summarize the different IMTA systems implemented in the INTEGRATE project (please see our previous newsletter #6 for details of the case studies) a conceptual compartment model was developed for land-based semi-extensive IMTA in ponds that accommodate 5 trophic compartments (carnivores – detritivores – filter feeders – phytoplankton – macroalgae) and displays their structural organization and functioning (Fig. 3).

Fig 3 – General overview of the biogeochemical state variables and fluxes within the conceptual pond IMTA model. Square boxes represent functional groups defined in the model. Arrows indicate fluxes of energy, carbon and inorganic nutrients: red – inputs; green – outputs; blue – internal fluxes.

This conceptual compartment model, developed using the Stella software, will allow us to obtain a list of parameters and data. These will be assessed in order to provide a prediction of the environmental performance of IMTA through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which our project partners from IPMA, Portugal, are working on at the moment.

The INTEGRATE Project Posters

Throughout the course of the INTEGRATE project, our partners have been busy presenting posters about the project at various conferences and events, including at Seagriculture 2019 in Ostend and the European Aquaculture Society conferences in Montpellier in 2018 and Berlin in 2019! Here are the posters we have presented so far:

INTEGRATE Pilot Action 1 ISC @ Seagriculture 2019
INTEGRATE Pilot Action 3 CTAQUA @ EAS 2019
INTEGRATE Pilot Action 3 IPMA @ EAS 2019
INTEGRATE IMTA definition NUIG @ EAS 2019
INTEGRATE Project Interreg Atlantic Area 2017-2020

IMTA in France: factsheet available in English and French

Our French project partners have released a factsheet about integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) in France. Check them out now and learn about IMTA in France; the factsheet is available in English and French!

Factsheet in English about IMTA in France 
Fiche d’information en français sur l’AMTI en France