Maine University of New England joins EU-backed project to speed up Atlantic aquaculture

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Maine University will play a role as the American representative in a new international aquaculture project.

The University of New England says it will be a part of the AquaVitae Consortium, which is aimed at speeding up the development of sustainable aquaculture in countries along the Atlantic Ocean, reports Associated Press.

The value chains that AquaVitae will focus on include macroalgae production, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) as well as existing optimising production in finfish species.

IMTA is a process that farms several species together using the waste from one species as feed for another. For example, Tasmanian salmon farmer Tassal is investigating the potential of native kelp plantations on its aquaculture leases.

The European Union is funding the USD 8.9 million project through the Horizon 2020 program.

The university is joining 35 other groups on the project. The project is focusing on aquaculture of species that are low on the food chain. The effort has partner groups with Nofima – the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research and Matís ltd. – Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D – a government-owned, non-profit, independent research company.