INTEGRATE partners host second French IMTA round-table in Rennes

French experts dig their brains during the social round-table

CEVA and Agrocampus-Ouest hosted the second French round-table to discuss IMTA social issues on 14 November 2018 in Rennes. The event gathered 16 Atlantic Area stakeholders from academia, the aquaculture industry, relevant French authorities, environmental NGOs and public organisations supporting agricultural trade and industrial development.




The event was split up into three sessions:

  1. Presentations by stakeholders to set the playing ground by introducing some of the recent conflicts related to the implementation of French aquaculture projects.

    Wrap up session
  2. Round-table to discuss social issues around IMTA products
  3. Round-table to discuss the social implications of IMTA development


Sessions 2 and 3 were in turn subdivided into the following topics:

  1. Definition of social best practices concerning French Atlantic IMTA.
  2. Bottlenecks for the development of social best practices.
  3. Priority social areas for the development of French Atlantic IMTA.


Outcome of the discussions:

Session 2:

Promotion of IMTA, creation of an IMTA eco-label and the definition of IMTA’s environmental benefits were the main identified best practices.

Social bottlenecks are i) a non-understanding or even a bad concept of IMTA within local communities, ii) the need for quality standards to govern IMTA production, iii) the difficulties of setting up labels and iv) technical farming aspects coupled to social issues, e.g. ensuring local origin of farmed products, etc.

Priority areas for development are i) a definition of IMTA (scale of the concession, company or bay, etc.), ii) the demonstration of IMTA’s environmental benefits, iii) improvement of the aquaculture sector’s ability to communicate with wider audiences, iv) a clear definition of IMTA’s target market.


Session 3:

Environmental and economic sustainability, improved communication to wider audiences, empowering stakeholders through participatory processes to implement IMTA projects and a focus on regulations to enhance and facilitate the implementation of innovative farming systems were amongst the identified best practices for IMTA development in the French Atlantic Area.

Experts discussed the following as social bottlenecks for the development of IMTA: i) lack of knowledge of IMTA -farming techniques, farming environment, visibility of IMTA products in the marketplace, ii) inefficiency of certain national regulations and management tools governing IMTA, iii) low social acceptability.

The identified priority areas were i) the need for a definition of IMTA, ii) the promotion of IMTA and its products, iii) Skill building through education, training and cooperation, iv) the need for socio-economic impact assessments illustrate the profitability of IMTA systems.

CTAQUA launches video on land-based Atlantic IMTA

SAMS is leading the production of learning materials for our first online IMTA course. CTAQUA’s latest contribution is a video presentation of its land-based IMTA pilot in the southwest of Spain. Check out the video to learn more about the development of sustainable aquaculture techniques in the Atlantic Area.

INTEGRATE’s pilot actions deliver promising partial results

The Irish Seaweed Consultancy have been following the growth and fertility of Himanthalia elongata plants on the shore. In 2018, plants and conceptacles were measured monthly. From early summer, males and females could be differentiated by eye under the microscope. In August, ISC were successful in having eggs & sperm released onto Petri dishes. They are now in the process of repeating the release every two weeks and following the % success of each release.



INTEGRATE featured in Produits de la Mer no. 185

INTEGRATE stands out prominently in an article on IMTA published by the French magazine Produits de la Mer in its September 2018 issue no. 185. The article also features CEVA’s Bertrand Jacquemin’s insights into the challenges facing the current and future development of IMTA and reviews relevant projects taking place in France.

Click on the link to read the article 2018_09_04 Produits de la Mer n°185 – Aquaculture multitrophique_un concept à valider

INTEGRATE at Aqua 2018

INTEGRATE was an active participant at the WAS/EAS joint conference Aqua 2018 which took place in Montpellier (France) on 25-29 August 2018. We contributed a poster presentation of the project titled PROJECT INTEGRATE -INTEGRATED AQUACULTURE: AN ECO-INNOVATIVE SOLUTION TO FOSTER SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ATLANTIC AREA and the oral presentation INTEGRATED MULTI-TROPHIC AQUACULTURE (IMTA) BEST PRACTICES: STATE-OF-THE-ART IN THE ATLANTIC AREA featured in the IMTA session chaired by Thierry Chopin.


INTEGRATE poster presentation                                                                     Bertrand Jacquemin (CEVA) presenting the state-of-the-art review

The INTEGRATE pilot actions take off

INTEGRATE’s Work Package 4 is implementing three pilot actions to test IMTA species associations, technology and farming techniques. Partners have tailored the design of their pilot IMTA systems to the envisaged experiments and the corresponding data collection & assessment requirements.


Pilot action 1: Testing new eco-friendly technologies and high value seaweeds applied to IMTA

Pilot 1 studies innovative IMTA systems to find alternatives to organic and inorganic extractive components for Atlantic IMTA. Experiments will monitor performances of different IMTA associations in controlled systems. Also, IMTA’s underdeveloped benthic component will be assessed to develop suitable technologies to support it. The market potential of Atlantic IMTA seaweeds will be improved by developing production techniques for new high-value species.

Pilot 1 partners are AGROCAMPUS OUEST and CEVA (France), NUIG and ISC (Ireland), SAMS (UK) and ALGAPLUS (Portugal).

CEVA’s pilot 1 aims to develop cultivation techniques for three new high value seaweed species: Codium tomentosum, Palmaria palmata and Porphyra purpurea. The pilot will implement land-based and at-sea trials using wild samples of the three seaweeds (in progress). Different materials and conditions will be tested in order to come up with cultivation techniques that are easily adapted to different existing aquaculture systems (shellfish, fish, etc.).

NUIG’s pilot 1 aims to develop cultivation of Ulva spp. in two different IMTA systems – (1) together with lumpsuckers (Cyclopterus lumpus) in a land-based experimental scale recirculation system, and (2) alongside Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) grown at sea. For system 1 we will look at bioremediation capacity of both lamina and tubular morphotypes of Ulva under different stocking densities and at different effluent flow rates. Currently the first prototype system is being constructed.

For system 2 NUIG is developing a protocol to sporulate the local ulva species and seed it onto culture twine that can then be transplanted to sea. Sporulation experiments are currently on-going and in the meantime the first deployment of vegetative Ulva has been out-planted at sea, in order to assess growth rates and nitrogen content when cultivated close to and far from the salmon cages.

Preparation of vegetative ulva for transplant to sea & Deployment of ulva next to the salmon cages at sea


Pilot action 2: Near-shore eco-friendly IMTA developments

Pilot 2 seeks to develop efficient management techniques for Porphyra-oyster IMTA systems. The wild collection and hatchery production of Porphyra are being assessed in order to provide oyster farmers with new tools to support their diversification efforts, and to bring new supplies to the seaweed industry and new hatchery best practice.

Pilot 2 partners are CEVA and AGROCAMPUS OUEST (France) and Algaplus (Portugal).

CEVA’s pilot 2 started in June 2018 with a prospection of the French Oyster farms where Porphyra purpurea naturally recruits on oyster nests. To date, 4 sites have been identified (Figure 2) and the isolation of conchocelis is in progress.

Location of the 4 prospected French oyster farms with natural Porphyra purpurea recruitment

Conchocelis experimental culture aims at i) developing a durable strain collection (from 2018 to 2020), ii) defining optimal cultivation conditions for seeding on oyster nests (autumn 2018) and iii) transferring knowledge to oyster farms (2019).

Simultaneously, discussions with oyster farmers are running in order to propose different efficient harvesting techniques, which will be subsequently tested in 2019.

This approach will allow CEVA to develop technical itineraries and methods for an integrated aquaculture combining oysters and Porphyra.

Pilot action 3: IMTA eco-friendly standard model for land-based semi-extensive aquaculture industry.

Pilot 3 focuses on land-based IMTA systems combining fish, molluscs, invertebrates and seaweed/salt tolerant plants. The possibility of controlling water flow through different compartments makes land-based systems an excellent candidate for successful Atlantic IMTA.


Pilot 3 partners are IPMA and ALGAPLUS (Portugal) and CTAQUA (Spain).

CTAQUA’s pilot combines land-based fish production with oysters and seaweed as IMTA components. This system is being implemented at a converted salt marsh in the Bahía de Cádiz Nature Reserve (Andalucía, Spain). CTAQUA has started the pilot by deploying a land-based longline system and seeding it with seaweed (Ulva sp.).


Land-based Ulva sp. long-line system

The remaining two components are an oyster (Crassostrea gigas or Magallana gigas) rack-and-bag system and a gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) growout facility in earthen ponds. The pilot will be in operation until late 2019.

Oyster rack-and-bag system

INTEGATE will use the results of CTAQUA’s, IPMA’s and ALGAPLUS’ trials to develop a sustainable industry standard for land-based semi-extensive IMTA.