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Objective 1 - To reduce input, maximize resource productivity and minimize waste in European aquaculture through the development, deployment, assessment and monitoring of IMTA technology.

IDREEM will act to reduce pressure on primary raw materials and will help conserve the environment and reduce pollution by creating product from waste. IDREEM focuses on creating growth in the European aquaculture industry without increasing the demand for raw materials such as fish meal and fish oil. Through the use of IMTA technology the unit production of proteins and lipids for human consumption per unit input of fish meal (protein from wild fisheries) and fish oil (lipid from wild fisheries) will be increased.

This will reduce pressure on raw materials as demand increases to meet the growing European and global protein gap 1,2. Through the process of IMTA there will be a concomitant reduction in the pollution and environmental impact associated with monoculture aquaculture. These impacts include particulate emissions which can pollute the seabed beneath aquaculture production areas, and dissolved emissions which can cause eutrophication in the water column.

Objective 2 - To reduce farm effluent by converting waste products from one production stage (finfish culture) into secondary raw products in the additional production stages by culturing suspension-feeders, detritivores and macroalgae on site.

This will be achieved by using secondary raw materials (which are currently waste streams) from conventional aquaculture in a system of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. These secondary raw materials (particulate and dissolved nutrients) will then be used as a source of nutrition for other organisms with commercial and nutritional value. Organisms such as bivalve molluscs (e.g. mussels, oysters and scallops) and echinoderms (e.g. sea urchins and sea cucumbers) will utilize particulate nutrients (secondary raw material from finfish aquaculture) to meet their energy and growth requirements, either by filtering the particulate nutrients out of the water column before they have settled (bivalve molluscs) or collecting them once they have settled (echinoderms). The dissolved nutrients will be used either by micro or macroalgae within the water column. Dissolved nutrients are predominantly converted to protein by the algae which can then be used as a feed source for other cultured organisms (e.g. gastropods or echinoderms) or as a source of nutraceuticals for human consumption.

Objective 3 - To demonstrate the combined resource and production efficiency of IMTA as compared to existing monoculture production systems using Life Cycle Assessment.

IDREEM will promote more sustainable patterns of consumption and production within the European aquaculture industry. It will do this by demonstrating the resource and production efficiency of IMTA as compared to traditional aquaculture production methods, using LCA to quantify the differences. This will be done to provide an evidence base for the aquaculture industry, policy makers and consumers of the benefits of IMTA production. This will have impacts both on the consumers and the producers of aquaculture products.

Life cycle analysis will enable the development of consumer certification labelling for IMTA products alongside a quantification of the environmental benefits. Such certification with a defined environmental benefit will stimulate consumer demand for IMTA products, and so create demand and uptake by producers. Adoption of IMTA should lead to dramatic diversification of the European aquaculture industry, stimulating the development of regional markets for the products of IMTA. This local and diversified production and consumption will be more sustainable in economic, environmental, and social terms.

Objective 4 - To provide the modelling tools for industry and policy makers that enable evidence-based decisions on the impacts of adoption of IMTA given environmental, economic, social, economic and organizational parameters.

IDREEM will provide a generic set of modelling tools that will discriminate between ecosystem types and where appropriate, will advise prospective IMTA enterprises on the selection of appropriate species, technologies, markets, costs and business risks associated with the adoption of IMTA. This will increase the role of SMEs as users of the green IMTA technology. This modelling tool kit and other dissemination activities will inform SMEs and empower them to make commercial decisions on IMTA.

The potential risks involved in the adoption of the IMTA process will be reduced through the accessibility of the know-how gathered in the project case studies and in effect will allow for rapid uptake of IMTA by SMEs. In parallel the tool kit will allow policy makers to clearly define the impacts of IMTA development, creating a transparent framework for the development of the industry in the medium term.

Objective 5 - To understand the reasons for low rate of adoption of IMTA in Europe and facilitate the industry-wide full scale.

Notwithstanding promising experimental, pilot and small-scale commercial results IMTA has not achieved wide acceptance within the European aquaculture sector, although the Chinese and Canadian industries are rapidly developing this technology. For this reason IDREEM will develop a systems solution in the aquaculture production process as a means to 'jump-start' the pan-European development through the adoption of IMTA by six leading. aquaculture SMEs as end users of the technology throughout Europe.

The project will clearly demonstrate to existing aquaculture producers and new start-ups the financial and compliance advantages of the adoption of IMTA. In conjunction with this IDREEM will produce a detailed risk assessment (economic, social/regulatory,environmental) for the SMEs on the adoption of new IMTA production systems. In turn, adoption by aquaculture producers will prompt the development of start up support industries such as macroalgal and invertebrate hatcheries on a regional scale.