Integrated approach for a sustainable and healthy freshwater aquaculture (SustainAqua)

SustainAqua – “Integrated approach for a sustainable and healthy freshwater aquaculture” is a Collective Research project funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework Programme that started in September 2006 and will last 3 years. During this time the consortium of 23 partners from 12 different countries will carry out specific research, training and dissemination activities in the field of producing healthy and tasty freshwater fish and other economical valuable by-products mainly by optimising nutrient chains, water management and energy efficiency.

In Collective Research projects RTD performers like research centres and universities carry out research activities on behalf of Industrial Associations or Groupings (IAGs) in order to expand their knowledge base and improve the overall competitiveness of large communities of their members which are almost Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In the project 7 RTD performers will provide the required know-how in cooperation with the participating 10 IAGs and the SME core group consisting of 6 enterprises from different European countries. The gained knowledge will be the base for certain IAG training activities about sustainable freshwater aquaculture management contributing to spread the knowledge throughout Europe.

Overall Objectives

  • To encourage the development towards an environmental sound and healthy, and at the same time economic viable and social accepted freshwater aquaculture.
  • To expand the knowledge base and the commercial image of the European freshwater aquaculture farmers by training them in:
    • Diversifying their markets/products/services (e.g. through diversification of fish species, innovative by-products as valuable resources for the chemical, the cosmetic, the energy or the food industry),
    • Improving their product quality (taste and compounds; reduction of medicaments and antibiotics), and with this consumers’ confidence and acceptance,
    • Improving their production process efficiency and profitability:
      • Increase the fish performance/output/price per output in relation to a certain investment unit
      • Reducing energy costs by an increased energy efficiency and/or own production
      • Reducing wastewater treatment costs by a decreased amount of wastewater volume and waste discharge
      • Reducing costs for fish feed by higher nutrient utilisation efficiency or own production
      • Reducing labour costs per produced products
      • Reducing transport costs
  • To improve farmers’ ability to compete with low-cost aquaculture products from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • To respond to European and national legal and customers’ (supermarkets, individuals) requirements related to product quality, and environmental and health issues.
  • To provide a high nutrition value for the consumer (fish quality).
  • To create more employment especially in rural areas, and throughout the whole aquaculture production chain.
  • To strengthening a sustainable development of rural areas.



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