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

INTEGRATE EXTENSION: A capitalization opportunity for integrated multitrophic aquaculture






November 30, 2022 – In the line of contributing to the sustainability of the aquaculture sector one of the most significant projects is INTEGRATE, which concluded in June 2020. Among the results of this European project led by CTAQUA, the achievement of an exhaustive inventory of technical, socio-economic, environmental and legal aspects of the status of IMTA in the European Atlantic region was included. The development of new cultivation methods of several organisms, the elaboration of good practice guides for different systems, the definition of the IMTA concept, and the preparation of training materials are actions that brought this project to the top in terms of sustainability in aquaculture.

” However, it was clear that much remained to be done. In particular, new challenges arise to capitalize on the results, strengthen technical knowledge and expand the possibilities of IMTA with new species and new cultivation methods. At the end of last year, the opportunity arose to request an extension of the project, and we do not hesitate. Our application was positively evaluated and now we will start the second phase of INTEGRATE,” explains Erik Malta, head of CTAQUA’s applied research and innovation department.

This new stage of 16 months, also led by CTAQUA, will be carried out by a consortium of 9 organizations and companies from Spain, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The configuration of the consortium has changed, now joining the University of Bangor (Wales), the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), and the University of the Algarve and the Greencolab platform from Portugal.

“Much of the new phase of the project will focus on capitalizing on the results obtained in the first phase. Active contact with all stakeholders will be sought through online and face-to-face workshops and meetings, a course on good practices in IMTA will be structured based on the material developed during the first phase, and the results of scientific studies will be published,” he explains. New techniques to increase IMTA’s commercial potential will also be explored. During this extension period, CTAQUA will focus on the evaluation of the possibility of growing sea cucumbers in IMTA systems and on the development of a new cultivation method of Ulva sp.

In addition, as a novel action to expose the gastronomic potential of IMTA, the development of a menu composed of a combination of the cultivated organisms within these systems and their demonstration in showcookings will be achieve.” A virtual kick-off meeting with the new consortium partners has been hold, and we have started with the new pilot experiments and activities. In addition, through our usual communication channels, information will be offered on the virtual and face-to-face activities that INTEGRATE will organize during this year and 2023″ he concludes.

INTEGRATE is a project funded by ERDF through the INTERREG Atlantic Area 2014-2020 programme (project code EAPA_232/2016). For more information, you can go to the website of the INTEGRATE-IMTA project