Marine Institute

Proposals Sought for Innovative Aquaculture Projects €1.3m funding available through Aquareg

The Aquareg Programme has allocated €400,000 to successful Irish applicants since its launch last November and a second call opens today (Friday 14th May) with a further  €1.3m available. Aquareg aims to promote innovation and business development; stimulate sustainable development in aquaculture; and create employment in aquaculture for peripheral coastal communities. Areas of particular interest for proposals are: cod/pollack production, seaweed’s, scallops, mussels, training for industry personnel, and production of educational materials for aquaculture and inshore fisheries.

Successful first round proposals include projects on aqua-by products, coastal zone management, production of lobster juveniles and transportation and storage of crustaceans. Proposals were sought in three areas: AquaLink, which aims to encourage collaboration between researchers and the aquaculture business; AquaEd which focuses on recruitment and training within the Aquaculture Industry; and AquaPlan, which focuses on integrated spatial planning and management of the coastal zone.

“We were delighted with the response and high calibre of proposals from the aquaculture industry and research community. A total of 16 applications were submitted with six successful projects selected for the Programme scoring highly in areas such as clearly defined objectives, benefit for the regions and cost-benefit-analysis”, said Mr. Alan Drumm, Aquareg Co-ordinator.

The Irish Salmon Growers’ Association Ltd. will lead a project on Aqua By-Products under the Aqualink strategy. The partners on this project are Norske Sjømatbedrifters Landsforening, Norway and Centro de Investigacions Mariñas, in Spain. The project will receive almost €192,000 from the AquaReg programme. The aim of this project is to compile a databank of information on waste management solution suppliers, facilities and consultants. This will be an electronic “one stop shop” for aquaculture and processing companies to find solutions for by-products of their business. Once set up, the database will be shared between the countries and updated on a regular basis to ensure that the information remains valuable and relevant. The database will act as an information resource for industries in dialogue with local, national and European authorities on waste management legislation and regulation.

The Marine Institute has been selected to lead a Coastal Zone Management Project between coastal communities in Ireland, Trondelag, in Norway and Galicia, in Spain under AquaPlan strategy. The Marine Institute has developed expertise in this area through their involvement in national aquaculture policy and the C.L.A.M.S (Co-ordinated Local Aquaculture Management System) initiative. This project will receive almost €190,000 and aims to facilitate the development of aquaculture and inshore fisheries in these regions. Through direct communication and feedback from the stakeholders and relevant bodies in each region, the Coastal Zone Management Project will review existing aquaculture management practices and identify the strengths and gaps these. Information will be disseminated through seminars and workshops together with a review of other EU and US aquaculture management approaches. A code of best practice will be produced and a pilot study will be performed in each of the three regions to test the theory in practice. 

The Martin Ryan Institute, in NUI Galway, will work in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and IGAFA (XUNTA de Galicia ) under the AquaPlan strategy. The project, will receive €189,000 from AquaReg and aims to develop a novel and simple method for cost-effective production of lobster juveniles. It will develop guidelines for regional lobster restocking and active collaboration and knowledge/technology transfer between research and training institutions in the regions involved in AquaReg  and regionally managed lobster industries.

Ireland’s Inshore Fishing industry is set to benefit from the development of efficient transportation and storage requirements for live crustaceans (crabs) from the fisherman to the market place. This project received € 50,000 in funding and the Irish participant is BIM.A total of €2.5 million will be invested in coastal communities of Ireland, Spain and Norway by the end of the Aquareg programme demonstrating the benefit of partnership programs between countries with similar interests.

The deadline for submissions is 16.00 hrs on Friday 25th June 2004

For more information visit www.aquareg.com or contact Alan Drumm, Marine Institute telephone: 098 42300 or email: alan [dot] drumm [at] marine [dot] ie

ENDS