Aquaculture, which includes fish farming, faces increasing pressures as demand for seafood products grows while traditional wild fisheries are in decline.
IDREEM (Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture) is a European research project launched in 2012 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 €5.7 million project is coordinated by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and delivered in collaboration with fourteen industrial and research partners from across Europe.
In four years, the IDREEM consortium will develop tools and methods to help the European aquaculture industry adopt more environmentally and economically efficient practices using IMTA on a commercial scale.
The IDREEM project will demonstrate the benefits of IMTA through pilot commercial-scale testing, field research and modelling. Interdisciplinary research within IDREEM will examine the obstacles and risks to the use of IMTA systems and develop tools to overcome these constraints, whether they are economic, environmental, technical, social or regulatory.
IDREEM pairs aquaculture businesses and research institutions in strategic partnerships to promote rapid implementation, allowing instant transfer between research findings and commercial applications. The tools and methods developed within IDREEM will help aquaculture enterprises and policy makers gain a better understanding of the risks and benefits associated with IMTA.
The end result of the project will be the creation of a more efficient European aquaculture industry, based on the development of more economically and environmentally efficient technology. IDREEM will deliver tools and evidence to support the adoption of IMTA across the aquaculture industry, helping create employment and widening a market niche for IMTA-grown seafood products.