MARINALGAE4aqua is an innovative research project that targets to develop strategies for increasing efficiency of two important European farmed fish (Atlantic salmon and European sea bass) and reducing the environmental impact of farming them using micro- and macro-algal biomass as feed ingredients by:

  1. Culturing marine algae under optimized technological processes to remove organic compounds and minerals from fish farm effluents to produce high value products for aquafeeds while recycling nutrients; thus, improving the water quality and reducing the environmental impact.
  2. Identifying novel feed additives to improve fish digestive ability and nutrient utilisation upon using the selected algae.
  3. Improving fish growth and end product quality, reducing time to slaughter and providing consumers with a safe and healthy food item that has wider acceptance.

MARINALGAE4aqua aims to tackle the sustainability challenges of the aquafeed industry by developing cost-effective and resource-efficient alternatives to FM by providing: a) efficient new processes to valorise selected marine algae that could reduce EU imports of protein and lipid sources and minimize over-exploitation of wild fish stocks, loss of biodiversity and environmental burden and b) high sensory quality and consumer acceptance of fish products to meet food security and dietary needs for a healthy life.

Work packages

The MARINALGAE4aqua research plan is structured in 9 major Work Packages (WP) which are further divided in several tasks, and major topics comprise:

WP0: Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation (L. Valente, CIIMAR/PT);

WP1: Optimization of technological processes to produce high value marine algae while recycling nutrients through integrated farming (G. Aggelis, Upatras/GR);

WP2: Identification of novel feed additives able to improve fish digestive capacity and nutrient metabolism of IMTA-produced marine algae selected from WP1 (M. Sørensen, UiN/NO);

WP3: Growth trials with Atlantic salmon and European seabass using best marine algae & feed additives identified in WP2 (T. Eroldogan, CU/TK);

WP4: Reduce the environmental impact by more efficient utilization of aquafeeds (F. Tulli, UniUD/IT);

WP5: Improve fish growth by promoting gut health and nutrient absorption (K. Viswanath, UiN/NO);

WP6: Assure safety and quality of feed and food products (F. Jessen, DTU/DK);

WP7: Demonstration of technologies and validation of economic value of the selected feed ingredients and industrial processes (D. Bokas, PLAGTON SA/GR & R. Branco, 2kE/PT);

WP8: Dissemination and support to wider uptake (All partners).

Research groups

The consortium combines several complementary research environments in Aquaculture among 7 EU countries that have established collaborations with 3 industrial partners:

  • CIIMAR/Portugal – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (coordinator)
  • UPatras/Greece – University of Patras
  • UiN/Norway – Nord University
  • CU/Turkey – Cukurova University
  • CFRI/Turkey – The Central Fisheries Research Institute
  • UniUD/Italy – University of Udine
  • DTU/Denmark – Technical University of Denmark
  • IFREMER/France – French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea
  • CEVA/France – Center for Study and Promotion of Algae
  • HCMR/Greece – Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
  • ALGAPLUS/Portugal – Industrial partner devoted to the production of seaweed and seaweed based products
  • PLAGTON/Greece – Industrial partner devoted to the production of seafood products
  • 2KE/Portugal – Consulting firm focused on developing new tools using circular economy approach

Contact and project coordinator

Luísa M. P. Valente from CIIMAR - PortugalSend a Message

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