What is it about?
IDREEM (Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture) was a European research project which aimed to protect the long-term sustainability of European aquaculture by developing and demonstrating a new innovative production technology, Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture or IMTA. The project developed tools and methods to help the European aquaculture industry adopt more environmentally and economically efficient practices using IMTA on a commercial scale.
The project involved commercial-scale testing of IMTA systems, field research, and modeling. It also examined the obstacles and risks to the use of IMTA systems and developed tools to overcome these constraints, whether they are economic, environmental, technical, social, or regulatory.
IDREEM paired aquaculture businesses and research institutions in strategic partnerships to promote rapid implementation, allowing instant transfer between research findings and commercial applications.
Why is it important?
It has been suggested that large-scale growth of aquaculture in the EU has been constrained by a shortage of suitable sites and the ecological carrying capacity of existing sites as well as public criticism based on perceived environmental impact. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) has been proposed as a production model that may help to address such challenges. IIMTA is a concept where different species are grown together in such a way that the invertebrates and/or plants can recycle the nutrients that are lost from the culture of the other species.
Multi trophic aquaculture has been practiced for centuries in freshwater systems, particularly in China. Although the potential benefits of this system are well understood, IMTA is only practiced in the EU by a few specialist companies. Questions arise regarding why this is the case; what are the issues and bottlenecks that may prevent the development of this eco-efficient practice?
Stakeholder attitudes towards Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)
An analysis of public attitudes towards IMTA