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.